Mpumalanga - Traditional health practitioners must work with anti-poaching units to try and catch poachers, the Kruger National Park said on Friday.
The park's executive manager Abe Sibiya said most of the poachers arrested said they had used “muti” (herbal medicine) to avoid detection by rangers and dangerous animals.
“If they are to get any (new) muti, it must be the one that will expose them.”
About 500 traditional health practitioners from Limpopo and Mpumalanga gathered at Skukuza Stadium, in the park, to declare their stand against rhino poaching.
“What is important is that we have entered into a pact, to ensure that we fight these criminals, for the good of our beautiful country. This pact means that no criminal or poacher will get any muti,” said Sibiya.
Dr Sylvester Hlati, who represented the traditional practitioners, said that through their “muti” they could also make contribution to the fight against rhino poaching.
Sibiya also urged communities to take part in anti-rhino poaching initiatives.
“To the rest of us, we need to go out there and expose these selfish detractors and betrayers of our country. They live in our neighbourhoods.”
Kruger National Park spokesman William Mabasa said the relationship was important and he hoped other community structures would join the fight.
“This relationship is significant for us. This group of traditional healers is the first one. We hope other groupings will come forth to fight poaching.” - Sapa