Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Fire at Bongani Lodge: FF Plus Mpumalanga asks MEC to intervene

The FF Plus in Mpumalanga strongly condemns the act of arson that lead to the destruction of the Bongani Mountain Lodge in the Mthethomusha Game Reserve on the border of the Kruger National Park. The party has asked the MEC for Economic Development, Vusi Shongwe, to intervene and ensure that endangered game species are moved to the Kruger National Park, which is safer, and that the damaged fencing is repaired as soon as possible.

The Reserve is home to, amongst others, Africa's Big Five.

Although the Lodge is privately owned, the Reserve is managed by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MPTA) that must prevent any poaching of the endangered species from taking place at this time.

The arson and vandalization of the Lodge allegedly followed a shootout between poachers and game rangers in which one poacher was reportedly killed.

In response to this, members of the community burnt down the main gate of the Lodge during their protest action. The damage is estimated to amount to approximately R80 million.

Large parts of the Game Reserve's fencing have been damaged and that makes poaching easier. The Cape buffalo in the Reserve are also naturally carriers of foot-and-mouth disease, which poses a serious threat to cattle farmers in the area should they escape.

The FF Plus welcomes the arrest of three suspects and will see to it that the arsonists and community members, who are responsible for the damage, receive the appropriate punishment.

Contact details: 076 687 2830 / 084 652 9164



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