The High Court in Pretoria set aside government’s 2009 ban on domestic trade in rhino horn, arguing that this move is the only way of preventing the animals from becoming extinct.
Judge Francis Legodi read out his court order in less than five minutes before handing down his 37-page judgment in the application by Malelane game farmer John Hume and Limpopo farmer Johan Kruger. Although government is expected to appeal the ruling, Hume said he hopes “sanity would prevail.”
Hume was extremely pleased with the judgment, saying that he hopes the world will understand that if he doesn’t sell rhino, his whole herd would be dead within the next 10 years. He said the security costs of safeguarding his rhino had gone up dramatically and was at this stage costing far more than feeding or any other costs.
According to Hume’s attorney, Izak du Toit, it is practically impossible to protect rhino from poachers. “You really need an army to protect your rhino,” he said.