South Africa rhino poaching: ‘Web of Corruption’

August 15, 2018 | Brainwave Science


A police informant has informed the BBC he worked as the intermediary between rhino-horn smugglers and a court syndicate in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. In his statement, he claims he received cash from rhino-horn kingpins and distributed it to the legal professionals inside the judiciary. The lawyer, Welcome Ngwenya, denies such accusations about being involved in bribery. After the informants’ account, investigations point to a court syndicate that is safekeeping the rhino-horn smugglers.

The intermediary informant who adopted the pseudonym “Fresh” after his favorite DJ, is now in hiding. He passed a lie-detector test, and his affidavit has been cross-checked by law enforcement agencies who believe his allegations are “serious and demand full-fledged investigation. He identified different magistrates, attorneys and prosecutors involved in this corruption racket which are kept as classified at this moment. According to the informant statement, he used to work for Mr Ngwenya, his uncle and has illustrated how he used to distribute bribes for him.

“I give money to most of his friends and most of his friends are magistrates, lawyers, prosecutors,” he told the BBC. “If you want your case to be withdrawn or if you want everything to just disappear you just go to him.”

Fresh’s most high-profile allegation involves suspected rhino-horn kingpin Dumisani Gwala. He says Mr Ngwenya received payment from Mr Gwala and paid it to the magistrate to influence the result of his case.

South African alleged rhino poaching kingpin Dumisani Gwala’s and his two co-accused’s trial case has been delayed 17 times so far. According to a BBC report, most of the 222 rhinos killed for their horn in South Africa’s eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal were at the state-run Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Conservation group Saving the Wild says a “web of systematic corruption” within the justice system is to blame. It says this has allowed poaching to continue in a province which saw poaching increase by a third.

The public prosecutor is still deciding whether to act on the testimony provided by police informant – evidence initially gathered by Jamie Joseph, head of the environmental group, Saving the Wild. She and previous anti-poaching policemen Jean-Pierre Roux have spent years seeking to reveal an alleged syndicate, which they name the “Blood rhino blacklist”. Mr Roux believes he was sacked from the police to stop him from exposing and eradicating the corruption.

“We are focused on exposing and eradicating the corruption enabling rhino poaching,” said Ms. Joseph, who added that she had received death threats because of her anti-poaching work. “We suspect we got too close to some of the higher syndicate members with possible links to government,” Mr Roux alleges.


TRAFFIC, the international wildlife trade monitoring group, states that 5476 rhinos were slaughtered in South Africa over a five-year period. South Africa is house to 80% of Africa’s herd, however, there are simplest about 25,000 rhinos left. About 1,000 are killed once a year for his or her rhino horn.

The decline in the number of rhinos killed should not be rejected as insignificant. It indicates that strong, necessary local action can still work. But this should not lead to complacency. Corruption and rhino poaching are inevitably linked. In far too many cases, rangers, police, government officials – even magistrates – are easily corrupted by powerful criminal forces with ready supplies of hard cash. These problems are at the heart of politics, national and local government in South Africa. Until they are cracked, the killing will go on. The corruption in judiciary leads to an inability to do anything to speed up the prosecution of alleged poaching kingpins and other poachers whose trials have been frequently delayed by incompetence in the justice system or the seeming lack of enthusiasm of the law enforcement and prosecuting authorities to make it a priority is concerning.

Populations of critically endangered Rhino has declined dramatically in the 20th century and with corruption inhibited in South Africa necessary advancement needs to be made by law enforcement. To eradicate corruption from Judiciary and law enforcement along with arresting the rhino horn kingpins and other poachers requires an accurate identification of the information as name of corrupted government officials, bank account details, link with rhino horn kingpins and other relevant information about the case. When reliable and authentic intelligence is a fundamental part of concluding the investigation, conventional methods of investigation may not be sufficient to solve this case that raises questions for South Africa as a nation that struggles to combat systemic corruption as these termites of corruption threaten the integrity and security of the whole system.

Why iCognative?

iCognative is a leading forensic technology perfectly suited for law enforcement agencies to investigate and identify the crooked legal and security personnel. Brainwave Science‘s iCognative technology is a one-of-a-kind, contemporary innovative neuroscience-based, proven technology that can offer a solution to corruption problems in South Africa. This technology detects concealed information related to a specific incident or crime from the brains of the criminals and confirms the presence or absence of it. iCognative test and be conducted on any suspicious person of interest to an investigation, by analyzing and recording specific brain response called P300/P300 MERMER it not only accelerates the pace of investigation by quick identification of criminals from innocents, but also helps quick delivery of justice.

South African Police Service can utilize this technology to achieve 99.9% accurate intelligence on the suspect’s real connections to the allegations, what information they know and if they’re concealing other relevant intelligence. Capitalizing on merits of iCognative, a 45 minutes test conducted on all alleged suspects including a verification of informant testimony can give an advantage to Law Enforcement. It can be very useful in finding hidden facts about the case and connect all the missing links. To conduct a iCognative test on a suspect/s relevant to the crime, a test case needs to be built using crime related known and confidential information known only to the perpetrator and investigators is called stimuli. It takes only 15 minutes to enter the stimuli into the iCognative system. Stimuli can be in the form of words, phrases or pictures whichever is available to conduct the test. In this specific case, investigators can use stimuli associated with informant information as: location of meeting, date and time of the meeting, association with rhino horn kingpins, bank details, prolonging Mr. Gwala case, link with previous cases along with other undisclosed information they have collected during an investigation as stimuli.

All this information will be flashed on a screen to the suspects while the iCognative system collects brain responses to each stimulus. These responses are analyzed by a click of button by the automated software to give final analysis with 99.9% accuracy.

Once the iCognative test is conducted, law enforcement investigators can identify all the crucial missing link/leads to solve this corruption allegation case. Once all the corrupt associations are revealed and arrested along with kingpins and their associates, justice will be served to the endangered rhinos. Through this invaluable solution, South African Police Service can eradicate corruptions and criminals, protect Rhinos and other endangered species and flourish tourism industry.




Image Source : National Geographic