Minister Barbara Creecy Appoints an Advisory Committee to Review Policies, Legislation and Practices Related to the Management of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros.

22nd October 2019

The names of the committee members were published in the Government Gazette Number 42761 (Notice Number 1317) on the 10th October 2019. The Committee was also known as the High Level Panel, has been appointed in terms of the National Environmental Management Act of 1998.

The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy has announced the appointment of Mr Mavuso Msimang as the Chair of a 25-member advisory committee to review policies, legislation and practices related to the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.

Mr Msimang, previously chaired the Rhino Issue Management Process.  He is presently the chairman of the Tourism Conservation Fund and former SANParks CEO, Director of Peace Parks Foundation, former Head of Rhino issue management programme, former chairperson of iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority. 

The Department of Environmental Affairs (Environment, Forestry and Fisheries) has for some time dealt with a number of emotive and complex conservation and sustainable use issues, particularly those involving keystone species. These include the elephant management and culling debate, the management of ivory stockpile, trade in rhinoceros horn, captive breeding and the emerging issue of lion bone trade. Society and the international community is divergent on matters of conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing arising from the use of genetic and natural resources.

Irresponsible and unsustainable practices, inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the law, could be detrimental to wildlife conservation and sustainable development, thus fuelling negative public sentiments on matters of captive breeding, handling, hunting and trade in lions, elephants, leopard and rhinoceros specimens with implications on the country’s conservation reputation. Equally significant is the need to enhance the contribution of conservation and sustainable use of biological resources to socio-economic development of the country. 

It is for this reason that an Advisory Committee serving as a panel has been established.  The Panel will, over the coming months, review existing policies, legislation and practices related to the breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.  The Panel will also review the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry into the feasibility, or not, of a legal rhinoceros horn trade, and any future decisions affecting trade-related proposals to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),  conduct public hearings and workshops, consider submissions, scientific evidence and other forms of information, and identify gaps and make recommendations on the basis of the key focus areas.

Amongst the focus areas are the keeping in captivity and hunting of elephant and rhino, the ivory trade, rhino anti-poaching and anti-trafficking measures and community empowerment, as well as leopard hunting and the trade in leopard skins.  The Panel will probe among others the breeding of lion in captivity, the hunting of lion, and the trade in lion bones and skins.

In appointing the Panel, the Minister considered among others criteria including the skills of the nominees, expertise and experience, qualifications in conservation, community interface, economics, trade and industry, legal, welfare and sustainable agriculture.

The High Level Panel Members are:

  1. Mr Mavuso Msimang a previous winner of the WWF-SA Living Planet award, Public Service by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa award and award in Excellent Services rendered to Conservation and Prestigious Fred Packard by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. Chairman of WWF-SA Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee and Corruption Watch. His a specialist in nature conservation, institutional development, tourism development and community development. 
  2. Ms Aadila Agjee, the head of the wildlife project for the Centre for Environmental Rights. Her specialities are environmental legal matters, litigation, legal regulations for welfare of wild animals and compliance, legislative review, animal rights and welfare legislation. 
  3. Prof Brian Child, directed the Peace Parks Foundation’s Community Development Programme, A Doctor of Ecology, he specialises in economics, governance, nature conservation, communal area management, indigenous resources and camp fire initiatives.
  4. Mr Kule Chitepo of Resource Africa and chairperson of the IUCN Species Survival Commissions on Sustainable Use and Livelihoods who is a transboundary biodiversity conservation expert. He specialises in community development, policy development on rural communities, exposure to trade, resource mobilisation and the promotion of sustainable use of natural resources and livelihoods.
  5. Ms Ashleigh Dore of the Endangered Wildlife Trust specialises in nature conservation, community empowerment as well in restorative justice as an admitted attorney. She also represents women and youth in the conservation sector.
  6. Mr Stewart Poultney Dorrington, the chairman of Custodians of Professional Hunting and Conservation South Africa specialises in Wildlife conservation, hunting and game farming. 
  7. Inkosi Mpumalanga Gwadiso, the chief and chairman of the Amakhonjwayo Traditional Council. Co-founded and member of the House of Traditional Leaders, is a human rights activist who specialises in community development, community and traditional leadership.
  8. Kgosi Edward Mabalane, the King of the Baphiring Nation, Mabaalstad, and member of the House of Traditional Leaders, specialises in community leadership and is competent in restorative justice, local government administration and cultural heritage promotion.
  9. Mr Reuben Malema, managing director of game meat company: Black Evolution Products specialises in the sustainable use of wildlife, policy development in agriculture and business management, wildlife ranching and food security. He is a member of the DAFF Ministerial Advisory Committee on game meat regulations.
  10. Dr Kelley Marnevick of the Tshwane University of Technology and member of the wildlife forum is a specialist in conservation biology and wildlife management of the large
  11. Ms Lulama Lorrain Matyolo member of National People and Park and National Council of Provinces Secretary specialises in legal and compliance matters. She is a former acting Chief Parliamentary Legal advisor and a Deputy Secretary to National People and Parks Committee Forum.
  12. Mr Teboho Mogashoa, the president of Wildlife Ranching SA is highly experienced in conservation, game ranching and wildlife farming, and of investment promotion in the SA economy through the wildlife sector.
  13. Dr Tshifhiwa Constance Nangammbi, senior conservation lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology is a specialist in Curriculum Development in genetics and piloted the establishment of a wildlife biological resource centre. Dr Nangammbi also established the molecular genetics lab at the University of Venda. She is involved in the empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals and students.
  14. Ms Elizabeth Johanna Lizanne Nel, conservation manager of SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association is a conservation specialist and lecture. She is a member of the IUCN specialist group and is experienced in hunting, livelihoods, sustainable use, wildlife management, policy development and advocacy, community development and ecotourism development.
  15. Ms Mmboneni Esther Netshivhongweni, chairperson of WEBASA and Limpopo People and Parks Community Forum and serves in the board of directors of Professional Hunter’s Association of SA, she is highly experienced in community conservation management and the sustainable use of wildlife. 
  16. Prof Azwihangwisi Edward Nesamvuni has a doctorate in animal breeding and reproduction, a former board member of Agriculture Research Council, Limpopo Agricultural colleges and former Head of the Limpopo Department of economic development, environment and tourism.   He specialises in sustainable agriculture, nature conservation and research in animal breeding and reproduction, land reformation for rural development and policy development.
  17. Ms Sibusiso Maureen Ngcobo is a chairperson of Kana Uyhukunga Mvele, Women in Conservation NPO, a member of National Coordinating Body for Desertification and Land degradation and a member of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel on Intergovernmental of Science-Policy on Biodiversity and Ecosystem. She’s an advocate for women participation in conservation issues, she is experienced about conservation and sustainable use, women in conservation, and is a strategic development and implementation specialist.
  18. Hosi Pheni Cyprian Ngove of   Nghonyama Royal House was a former member of Limpopo Provincial Arts and Cultural Council and served as a member of Projects and Programs of the National Development Agency Board. He has a knowledgeable experience of matters relating to indigenous knowledge systems in South Africa, breeding and community development.
  19. Mr Michael ‘t Sas Rolfes, is an environmental resource economist who is a specialist in legal and illegal markets for wildlife products. He is knowledgeable in sustainable use, an expert in the analysis of wildlife trade policy for high value species and works closely with international bodies such as International Conservation Union (IUCN(, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) AND the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  20. Prof Robert Hugh Slotow, the pro-vice chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, holds a doctorate in biology. He is an expert in research on genetics and conservation of large mammals, and specialises in Corporate Governance and species-related policy development, economics, animal physiology, welfare and protected areas management.
  21. Nkosi Mabhudu Israel Tembe of the Tembe Traditional Council is a political activist who specialises in community development. His a former member of iSimangaliso wetlands Parks Board and Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife steering committee. He was also a former Chairperson of Umkhanyakude Local House of Traditional Leaders. Currently he is an Executive member of Provincial house of Traditional Leaders.
  22. Mr Deon Swart, CEO of the South African Predator Association is experienced about wildlife conservation, policy development and conservation management, captive breeding of lion, the national and international wildlife trade, as well as monitoring and enforcement, nature conservation, compliance monitoring, hunting and management planning development.
  23. Ms Karen Trendler, the chairperson of SANParks Ethics and Animal use and care Committee, working group member of the SABS code of Practice for Translocation and Capture of African Herbivores, Code on Zoo Standard and animal experimentation. She’s of NSPCA and Lion Coalition she’s a wildlife rehabilitation expert with experience of wildlife welfare ethics and trade nature conservation, and training in wildlife management. .
  24. Mr Andries Lucas van Coller, president of the Professional Hunters’ Association of SA is a specialist in agriculture and wildlife conservation, game farm management, community participation and hunting.
  25. Ms Pamela Bulelwa Yako of Zenande Leadership Consulting is an expert in environmental policy development and women empowerment. She’s a former chairperson on National Tourism Board who’s well experienced in municipal governance, stakeholder facilitation and financial strategy development and sustainability planning specialist.

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