The DA has called for urgent action to retrieve the 51 rhino horns stolen from the North West Parks Board.
This follows the arrest of a man in Boitekong, east of Rustenburg, who was arrested by the Hawks at the end of June after 51 rhino horns were stolen from a vault at the North West Park Board.
The DA’s spokesperson on environmental affairs, Dave Bryant, welcomed the arrest of the 40-year-old suspect.
However, he said questions remained over the efficacy of the security measures used to safeguard rhino horn stockpiles and the internal controls at the parks board.
"We acknowledge the role our collective efforts play in safeguarding our wildlife and will continue to put pressure on the authorities to maintain transparency and accountability in these matters," said Bryant.
He has called for Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy to provide clarity on the auditing procedures that were in place before the theft.
The party also wanted to know if there was an accurate count of the number of horns in safekeeping before the alleged theft, and whether a thorough audit was conducted to confirm that, indeed, only 51 horns were stolen.
"These are important questions that require answers, not just for the sake of transparency, but to ensure the rectification of any procedural weaknesses. The theft of rhino horns fuels the illegal trade and contributes to the demise of a species already under severe threat," he said in a statement.
According to Hawks spokesperson in North West, Lieutenant Colonel Tinyiko Mathebula, the man was arrested and charged with business robbery, following investigation into a break-in at North West Parks Board.
Mathebula said five vehicles believed to have been uses in the commission of the crime were confiscated for further investigation.
The vehicles are.a Range Rover, Land Rover, BMW, Nssan X-Trail and Honda Civic.