South Africa’s State Security Minister, David Mahlobo has dismissed the allegations linking him to rhino horn trafficking as unfounded and slanderous.
It was Al Jazeera that aired a documentary which alleged the involvement of the minister in the illegal rhino horn trade.
Minister Mahlobo’s alleged involvement was established by his visits to local Mbombela Spa.
The owner of the Spa is said to be a self-confessed criminal, Guan Jiang Guang who’s involved in the illegal poaching of rhino horns.
However, the State Security Minister argued in a statement that he had no idea what Guang was involved in at the time he visited the Spa.
According to Mahlobo, it is extremely reckless and mischievous for Al Jazeera to broadcast misleading content which is tantamount to defamation.
“They are basically linking the fact that I used to visit a Spa in Mpumalanga solely for the services that they render, to the illegal poaching of rhino horns by its owner – which I have also just been made aware of now through the aired broadcast,” said the State Security Minister.
“A number of my comrades, friends and high profile personalities” he continued, “visit the Mbombela spa, take photos with Guang’s family and some of his staff. Are these individuals now also involved on the illegal rhino trade? People drop names of high profile individuals and take photos-does this mean friendship or connection? I don’t think so.
“I am not a friend of the guy, nor have I ever been to his home or have received any of his employees into my home. My wife has no business relationship with the man or his employees,” added Mahlobo.
With the foregoing, the Minister instructed the Mpumalanga police commissioner to probe all allegations made against him in the documentary.
Also, he demanded that the rhino poaching claims and those relating to employing illegal immigrants and circumvents immigration laws be investigated.
Above all, the State Security Minister disclosed that he has engaged a legal team to search-out possible defamation action against Al Jazeera for the reputational damage the documentary caused his ministry and his family.