Crime, corruption and murder in greater Kruger
For more than a decade, Kruger National Park has faced a relentless onslaught of rhino
poaching. But today its greatest threat is internal corruption, itself a symptom of a breakdown
in trust, staff cohesion and professionalism within the park. Recent staff arrests following
lengthy financial investigations and a renewed commitment to combat corruption are
bearing fruit but will require political support, clear law enforcement strategies to address
organized crime around the park and a long-term investment. The park is severely affected
by corrosive corruption and violent organised crime, particularly in Mpumalanga, where staff
living in surrounding communities are vulnerable to deeply entrenched criminal syndicates.
• Between 2011 and 2020, Kruger’s white rhino population fell 75%, from approximately
10 621 animals to 2 607.
• Internal corruption is the greatest threat facing the park, itself a symptom of a breakdown
in trust, staff cohesion and professionalism within the park.
• Toxic politics, deep-seated inequality, corruption and embedded organised criminality have
profoundly affected the park and surrounding communities.
• Crime and corruption in the Kruger National Park should not be viewed in isolation
without taking the impact of organized crime in Mpumalanga, including kidnappings,
cash-in-transit heists, ATM bombings, illegal mining, extortion and corruption, into account.
• Renewed efforts to combat corruption in the park, coupled with a refreshing openness
about the extent of the problem and a desire to address it, require holistic efforts.
Full Report: https://enactafrica.org/research/research-papers/landscape-of-fear-crime-corruption-and-murder-in-greater-kruger