Leading South African rhino poaching detective shot dead on way to work

Leading South African rhino poaching detective shot dead on way to work

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One of South Africa’s top detectives, famous for capturing rhinoceros , was gunned down early Tuesday on his way to work.

Lt Colonel LeRoy Bruwer, 49, working in the Mpumalanga province, 200 miles north east of Johannesburg, was described by colleagues as a “wildlife fanatic.”

Lt Colonel LeRoy Bruwer, a leading detective who was investigating two high-profile cases, was shot dead in his car, police said CREDIT: Facebook

As a senior officer in the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, known as The Hawks, Colonel Bruwer was highly experienced in sophisticated and often dangerous investigations into rhino poaching syndicates.

Police cordoned off the road where Colonel Bruwer was killed and say there are three bullet holes on the driver’s window of his vehicle. Some rhino poachers arrested by Colonel Bruwer were former policemen

Four years ago Col Bruwer testified in court that he and a colleague were detained by police when they tried to charge two officers linked to a rhino poaching case.

He was currently lead detective in another two high profile rhino poaching cases. Col Bruwer was decorated four years ago as the best detective in the Hawks.

Advocate Kobus van der Walt, head of the Mpumalanga Asset Forfeiture Unit, said Col Bruwer was one of the most dedicated policemen he had ever worked with.

“His death leaves an incredible gap in the legal system especially in investigations into rhino poaching,” he told News24 early on Tuesday.

Col Bruwer lived close to where he was killed, not far from the Mozambique border where many are illegally exported and then sold on to buyers, often from Vietnam.

South Africa has 80 percent of the world’s remaining and one is killed every 10 hours, according to official government statistics.

This article was first published by The Telegraph on 17 March 2020.

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M Leybra
M Leybra

Surely Leroy Brewar knew he was ‘marked’ for extinction by the rhino-poaching syndicates as well as by South African corrupt police linked to rhino poaching cases he investigated. Whomever ‘decorated him’ four years ago as the best detective in the Hawks, should’ve taken steps to protect him & he should’ve taken steps to protect himself. What good is a animal-protector, macho man to the animals, dead? These Maffia-style assassins would likely have gotten him sooner or later, but traveling alone on usual way to work, sounds like it was incredibly easy.

george mira

This is organized crime, with as the article suggests significant police corrupt involvement.
A problem with rhino horn, ivory, and other animal-part trade, is that the dead animals, and parts can be stockpiled for long periods.

SA really MUST eliminate the killing of wildlife completely, especially for trophy and by noncitizens, enacting instead severe penalties, as it is obvious that it will ALWAYS lead to this, even if the nation or human world population has no concern whatsoever for the lives of animals or extinctions of species.

M Leybra
M Leybra

As for eliminating SA’s killing of wildlife, esp. trophy hunting, it’s ‘look to the dollar’ as usual. Supposedly “the economic impact of trophy hunting alone in South Africa, claims that hunters spend U.S. $250 million annually & the impact of this spending impacts SA’s agricultural & manufacturing sectors economy by $341 mil. plus (supposedly) supports more than 17,000 employment opportunities w/ implications for rural development & poverty alleviation.” I agree, that to end poaching in SA, the first step would be to treat killing of wildlife, esp. trophy hunting, as a prosecutable crime. But wont happen until, a species is… Read more »

Janet Kenedy

Catch them quickly and Kill on Sight!!!. That is the only way to having these Greedy Scum Suckers off the Planet!!!. If only the Buyers and Sellers could be caught and Killed on the spot, then this Horror will end!!. #$%&(##!!!!


I agree with you Mark. Shoot to kill/on sight. The world doesn’t need these poachers, but we do need wildlife.

Mark McCandlish
Mark McCandlish

As I have said before, South Africa needs to have a “shoot-to-kill”/ “shoot on sight” statute applicable to Rhino poachers. Regardless of whether they are cops. Once the Rhinos have all been killed, they will technically be extinct except for the few examples living in captivity. There is no recovery from that.

Robert Piller
Robert Piller

Those in danger need to tool up and take out the threats before they act!