Jean-Jacques Cornish

Rangers kills three poachers

South African game rangers have killed three poachers this past week in shootouts in the vast Kruger National Park bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Two thirds of the 1020 rhino illegally killed this year for their horns have died in this eastern park which is the size of Israel.


Rhino poaching in South Africa has reached record levels this year –triple the number of three years ago.

The animals are killed for their horn which is shipped mainly to Asia where gram for gram it is more valuable than platinum.

Made of keratin – the same substance as human finger nails – the horns are misguidedly believed to have medicinal properties.

South African authorities are cracking down on poaching which is killing rhinos faster than they can breed.

Some 164 suspected poachers have been arrested in Kruger Park in 2014, about 30 more than last year,

Rangers say the activity usually spikes midsummer when the foliage is at its thickest and rain covers poachers’ tracks.

They grimly refer to it has the Christmas rush for poachers.

They have increased patrols in the park and are moving the animals further away from the Mozambique border which many of the poachers cross.

The national parks service says the alleged poachers were killed in a series of shootouts.

Three others were wounded and arrested and six escaped.



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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.