PHASA – Open Letter to the BEELD Newspaper


Dear Editor

The article as published in the Beeld newspaper of 4 June 2019 entitled

“ Dit raak soms baie koud hier buite, minister “ by Elise Tempelhoff has reference.

PHASA welcomes the appointment of Ms Barbara Creecy as our new Minister of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries ( DEFF ) and we respond to the above mentioned article in order for the honorable Minister to quickly understand what the burning issues are, so as to be able to add value, create jobs, alleviate food security and fight poverty as instructed by President Cyril Ramaphosa,

One of the greatest challenges facing the wildlife sector is the blatant misrepresentation of the facts, along with dishonest or fraudulent actions, associated with certain individuals or organizations claiming to be conservationists. It is vital therefore, that the contradictions and misleading demands contained in the above mentioned article of 4 June 2019 in Beeld, by Elise Tempelhoff be exposed.

To conserve a resource means to use it wisely, or sustainably, for the socio-economic and environmental benefit of our people, as endorsed in our constitution.

To promote or allow the wasteful destruction, erosion or pollution of renewable natural resources is condemned in our constitution and is the OPPOSITE of conservation. Such action would be considered an environmental crime and in breach of the objectives of the International Convention on Biological Diversity.

Yet Tempelhoff who calls herself a specialist environmental author and claims to have written this article on behalf of the conservation community, calls for our Honorable Minister to disregard our constitution and to:

* publicity burn and destroy all legally obtained rhino horn and ivory in South Africa that’s worth
millions of $, yet be expected to grow our embattled economy

* eliminate all commercial value attached to the sustainable utilization of our renewable natural
resources and override the constitutional rights of our people

* render wildlife and wildlife products valueless and destroy the sustainable wildlife economy,
yet be expected to alleviate poverty and create jobs in this sector

* ban all elephant and rhino hunting in South Africa as these animals are facing extinction. This is a
blatant lie as in South Africa our elephants overpopulate the protected areas available to them
and it is estimated that over 40 % of the wolds rhino are protected by the private sector in our

* ban trophy hunting on the private reserves adjacent to Kruger’s western boundary and destroy
sustainable businesses that benefit our wildlife, our communities and our environment

* erect fences and stop the development of the Greater Limpopo Transfronteer Park that could
treble the size of Kruger National Park and alleviate the current environmental destruction
caused by a overpopulation of elephants in our current protected areas

It is in our opinion that is an absolute disgrace for the Beeld newspaper to publish such a misleading and irresponsible article. The irrational and unconstitutional demands made by Tempelhoff, would result in the wasteful destruction of our natural environment and our wildlife heritage, with increased levels of poverty, crime and joblessness among our rural people.

It is therefore our understanding that Tempelhoff and those she claims to represent, can under NO stretch of ones imagination be regarded as conservationists. Con-artists, fraudsters or racketeering syndicates would be a more appropriate description of those who prey on the good will of descent animal loving people, in order to drive an alternative or corrupt agenda.

In conclusion PHASA fully supports our Minister in the establishment of an enabling environment that would allow all the meaningful role players, who have invested a great deal of time, energy and capital in the wildlife industry, to grow this economy for the benefit of our people, our environment and our wildlife.

In order to alleviate poverty and create jobs within the wildlife sector, our first step as responsible citizens, is to eliminate the damaging influences of the corrupt con-artists, who disguise themselves as Conservationists.

Written by Barry York

Here are the screenshots of the article in BEELD 4 June 2019


  1. Rienie Denner

    I just wish to know: Who authorised Elise Templehoff to write on behalf of the entire conservation community in South Africa? She herself? Or does BEELD’s editor argue he has the power to assign authority to do so? What are Elise’s credentials? As the conservation community she claims to represent, we demand to see them!

    • Ron Thomson

      Thank you Rienie, your response to ‘Beeld’s’ editor and Elise Tempelhoff is apt and is much appreciated. Thanks Elma

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