Green Scorpions, Koukamma and Kwagga branches excel!

The Amarok 4×2 was presented to the Green Scorpions at a function held at the complex of the Tavcor VW dealer in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday 14 December 2011

Seventeen members of SAHGCA, of which fourteen members from Koukamma Branch, and a number of Kwagga Branch members, availed themselves for service in their personal capacities as Honorary Nature and Enviromental Offi cers (HNECO), also known as Green Scorpions.

Their purpose: offering their services voluntarily and at no charge, reacting to the signifi cant increase in rhino poaching in South Africa, particularly in the Eastern Cape. The applicants attended a training session at Shamwari Game Reserve on Saturday 05/11/2011 on the following: Legislation and role of HNECO, Deployment, Reaction Plan, Crime Scene Management, Current situation and Background and Vetting. All applicants were scrutinized by SAPS Crime Intelligence for integrity verifi cation and criminal backgrounds.

The members assist with patrols of the Eastern Cape game reserves, manning of observation posts and manning roadblocks to combat further rhino poaching. According to an article published in the Herald Online on 19 January 2012: “Criminals feel sting as Green Scorpions strike”. “The Eastern Cape Green Scorpions have struck fi ercely, immobilising a variety of eco-crimes across the province”.

John Best, a retired Police Brigadier and member of the Koukamma Branch, launched and managed the rhino conservation project. John’s dedication to the cause secured the co-operation of major role players of DEAET in Bhisho and the Shamwari Group, and through his efforts a signifi cant number of sponsors offered assistance as a result of a request on a social network page.

The sponsored Amarok is equipped with a set of sponsored rails, searchlights, night sight equipment (a FLIR thermal imaging camera) and two-way radios. The total value of the vehicle is R540 000 and a sponsor for the petrol for the vehicle has also been obtained. The SAHGCA’s Green Scorpions will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the vehicle.

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