South Africa turns to lie detectors in struggle on poaching

South Africa plans to conduct lie detector assessments on workers working at its recreation reserves in a bid to fight rampant wildlife poaching, a nationwide park administration company stated on Thursday.

Poachers, generally working along with crooked park workers, have decimated the nation’s inhabitants of endangered rhinos in recent times.

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To deal with the issue, South Africa’s nationwide parks authority, SANParks, has adopted a brand new polygraph testing coverage for its workers, it stated on Thursday.

Testing will likely be on a voluntary foundation within the meantime, however “the intention is ultimately to make polygraph testing mandatory for certain job categories,” SANParks stated in a press release.

The coverage authorised in November is anticipated to come back into drive early subsequent yr, Atmosphere Minister Barbara Creecy stated in a written response to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), which revealed the response on Wednesday.

“There are suspicions that some SANPark officials may have become corrupt,” Dave Bryant, the DA’s shadow surroundings minister, informed AFP.

“It is high time that we take active measures and active steps to address this”.

South Africa is residence to nearly 80 % of the world’s rhinos.

However it’s also a hotspot for rhino poaching, pushed by demand from Asia, the place horns are utilized in conventional medication for his or her supposed therapeutic results.

Nearly 470 rhinos have been poached throughout the nation between April 2021 and March 2022, in accordance with authorities figures – a 16 per cent enhance on the earlier twelve months.

The world-famous Kruger Nationwide Park, a vacationer magnet bordering Mozambique, has seen its rhino inhabitants decline dramatically over the previous decade and a half attributable to poaching.

The park’s estimated quantity in 2021 was 2,800 rhinos, a few 70 % lower from 10,000 in 2008, in accordance with official SANParks statistics.

Particulars of the brand new lie detector coverage are nonetheless being finalized.

SANPark Communications Supervisor Rey Thakhuli stated that “polygraph testing is not the answer to preventing or managing staff involvement in crime, but it is a tool that must be used as part of the toolbox and with a full understanding of its benefits, but also its limitations.” .

Polygraph assessments for SANPark workers have been first launched in 2016 as a part of a pilot mission.

Final yr, the Division of the Atmosphere stated 71 park officers had taken the check.

SANParks employs about 4,000 folks, in accordance with official figures.

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