16 August 2017
High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Gauteng Division, PretoriaIn this matter, Mr Hume made an urgent application to the High Court requesting that the Minister of Environmental Affairs (Minister) be ordered to hand him the original permit which she has already issued in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (NEMBA) authorising the selling of 264 rhinoceros horns by way of online auction, within 12 hours of the granting of the order.
The Minister opposed the application. In her answering affidavit, she stated that the NEMBA permit was issued by a person not properly authorised to issue the permit (the Director: Threatened or Protected Species(Director)) and that the permit was therefore unlawfully issued. The Minister therefore also launched a counter-application for the reviewing and setting aside of the decision of the Director to issue the permit.
Hume’s application was successful and the Minister’s counter-application was dismissed. The auction was held on Wednesday, 23 August 2017.