Fear is like fire; it can burn you or it can fuel you. As an activist I fear bearing witness to the extinction of an iconic species far more than I fear taking on a poaching syndicate.
I do not have the luxury of simple morality. Right now I’m in my homeland South Africa, battling to save rhinos in a war on greed, and that means I need to save people too – even the impoverished poachers that are recruited by ruthless kingpins.
On the 10th of April Advocate Thuli Madonsela, the revered Public Protector of South Africa, accepted my case after nine weeks of me stalking her office. In 2014 Time magazine named Thuli Madonsela one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the Leaders category and described her as “an inspirational example of what African public officers need to be”. She has opened up a preliminary investigation into corruption that enables rhino poaching, a landmark case, and an injection of hope into a fatigued conservation community.
This was following my expose on Dumisani Gwala, the alleged KwaZulu-Natal rhino poaching kingpin, and a justice system that is clearly failing us.
“How is it that I became a trusted journalist for sources?”
I get asked this question a lot.
“Does Gwala have a hit out on me, and do I fear for my life?”
I get asked this question even more.