Debora Patta from 3rd Degree caught up with Julian Rademeyer for an update on the rhino horn smuggling syndicate case that included charges against South African game farmer Marnus Steyl.
Rademeyer commented that the kingpins remain untouchable in places like Laos and Vietnam and that there seems to be very little progress on an international law enforcement level. He said that the South African government is doing what they can and that there are very dedicated people in the Hawks, NPA, SARS and SANParks who have been trying to tackle the problem but that they are low on resources and possibly not receiving the political support that they need. He pointed out that this is not just a South African issue but an international one that needs to be dealt with on an international level:
What prompted you to leave your full-time job as a journalist to write this book?
I was working on a story of a poacher, a farm attack and rifles smuggled into Zimbabwe to poach rhinos. I became fascinated with the people involved: who were the syndicates? Who were the people behind them? This story involved covert military operations, mercenaries, pimps, murderers, diplomats, gun-runners and international crime bosses. It also shed light on some of SA’s most pressing problems: corruption, organised crime and poverty. I often say that if I had written the book as fiction, it wouldn’t have been believable.
Weiss commented that his book has brought international wildlife trafficking to the public attention, a feat that others had attempted and not managed before. She called Killing for Profit “the newest, best textbook for conservation policy and management”.
Kennedy Gihana, whose life story was the subject of Jaques Pauw’s book Rat Roads, appeared on the South2North television talk show on Al Jazeera hosted by Redi Tlhabi.
Gihana addressed the issues that face stateless people, and what happens when a people are faced with genocide, such as the tragedy in the Myanmar community of the Rohingya that’s currently unfolding. Gihana, having himself fled Rwanda’s genocide, has a special empathy for those facing a similar plight. The show’s guests included Maung Tun khin, a Rohingya, and a human rights activist. Beatrice Mtetwa, a human rights lawyer, was the third guest on the show, and the show was filmed just a few days before she was jailed in Zimbabwe.
Roshan Boojihawon, from The Open University, interviewed Andrew Rugasira, author of A Good African Story, about being an entrepreneur in Africa.
Rugasira said that starting a business anywhere is difficult and that the journey of an entrepreneur is always going to be fraught with difficulties. He then discussed some of the particular challenges facing entrepreneurs in Africa. Boojihawon asked him about his “humanistic” management style and how it differs from the Western style of doing business:
Julian Rademeyer spoke to Rhishja Cota-Larson from Behind the Schemes about South Africa’s rhino horn dealers.
Cota-Larson asks Rademeyer about the South Africans who knowingly facilitated the rhino horn hunts under the guise of “trophy hunting”, which he exposed in Killing for Profit. She questions whether they should be tried as accomplices as they didn’t inform the police of what was going on. Rademeyer says that there were a number of hunters who saw this a way of making money and willingly participated in these hunts, and that he feels there should be legal consequences for the fraud they committed.
Julian Rademeyer se boek Killing for Profit oor die renosterstropery in Suid-Afrika het die land steeds, drie maande ná die verskyning daarvan, aan die gons. Dié joernalis, wat uit sy werk bedank het om sy boek te voltooi, het onlangs by Coenie de Villiers in die Kwêla-ateljee gaan kuier om oor sy wedervaringe tydens die skryf van die boek te gesels:
Sibusiso Mkwanazi from The Citizen spoke to Julian Rademeyer about the approach he took in writing Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade. He asked Rademeyer whether his sources were aware of how they would be included in the book and if he was threatened by anyone as he compiled his research:
“It was only after I conducted interviews for two years that it became apparent to me that I was dealing with so much more,” says the award-winning investigative journalist and author.
“I uncovered that I was dealing with a secretive trade that involved not only poachers but syndicate kingpins, government officials, gangsters, smugglers and even killers.”
Crwys-Williams started off by sharing the comments that Jacques Pauw, author of Rat Roads, had made about Rademeyer’s book, which he called, “grand investigative journalism on a scale one seldom sees. A meticulous, devastating account of the demise of one of South Africa’s most prized assets”.
Rademeyer and Crwys-Williams then discussed the extent of the illegal wildlife trade that is exposed in Killing for Profit:
The Good Governance Africa researchers interviewed Ivo Vegter, author of Extreme Environment, about his views on unilateral trade liberalisation.
Vegter speaks about the countries that have opened their markets to trade and the impact that this has had. He answers some difficult questions such as whether having free trade or free people is preferable for a country:
What countries have unilaterally opened their markets to trade, and what were the results?
The classic case is the unilateral repeal of Britain’s Corn Laws in 1846 by Sir Robert Peel, when efforts to extract reciprocal agreements from continental trading partners failed. Besides heralding an unprecedented rise in economic growth and material prosperity, it earned Britain world leadership in finance, insurance and shipping, which had all suffered at the hands of a law that protected only the interests of wealthy, politically- connected landowners. Moreover, Britain’s unilateral action prompted the spread of trade liberalisation throughout much of Europe.