Pistorius family’s rhino horns stolen in South Africa
Thieves broke into a safe at a firm owned by Oscar Pistorius's uncle in Pretoria and made off with an undisclosed number of rhino horns, the company boss said Monday.
“We can confirm that a number of rhino horns were stolen from a walk-in safe at our offices,” Johan Visagie, managing director of Twin City said in an email response to AFP.
Arnold Pistorius, uncle to South Africa’s star Paralympian, is the founder of the Twin City firm which runs resorts, operates game breeding projects and develops shopping malls.
The horns — which came from the company’s own animals — were stolen two weeks ago.
“They were dehorned as a pre-emptive measure to save them from being targeted by poachers,” said Visagie, adding that the necessary permits for the dehorning and storage of the permits do exist.
South Africa is battling a rhino poaching crisis, with more than 700 animals slaughtered for their horns since the beginning of the year.
Rhino horn in southeast Asian countries is a prized commodity used in traditional medicines and beauty potions.
Visagie said there are “certain leads as to who might be responsible,” and police are investigating.
Pistorius, a 29-year-old double amputee, admitted to killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by firing through a locked door on Valentine’s Day 2013.
He is due back in court on October 13 to be sentenced after a judge last month found him guilty of culpable homicide, but not murder.