1 minute read
21 May 2021
7:46 am

More than harsh sentences needed


Even as we praise this harsh sentence and encourage further antipoaching operations, we should also not forget that, without a demand, there would be no poaching.

The pangolin is thought to be prehistoric and is estimated to have lived on earth for nearly 80 million years. Photo: SpiritHoods

The sound you hear in the background is cheering… as animal rights activists, conservationists and anticrime supporters celebrate what is being said to have been one of the harshest sentences yet handed down in a pangolin poaching case. The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court this week hit Orateng Mekwe with a 10-year direct imprisonment term without an option of a fine. His co-accused, Zimbabwean Jealous Rungano, was jailed for three years. Professor Rey Jansen, attached to the faculty of science at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria said: “It is a ground-breaking sentence. This sets a South African precedent, as well...