Skip to Content

Centre for Environmental Rights - Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

Support Us Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Virtual Library

Home>Case watch

Hume v Minister of Environmental Affairs

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.

The Court Papers

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Report a Violation

National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours): 0800 205 005

In addition, there are a number of national and provincial hotlines that may be useful.

Contact us

  • Address:Cape Town: Second Floor, Springtime Studios, 1 Scott Road, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town - View map
  • Address:Johannesburg: Ninth Floor, Southpoint Corner, 87 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, 2001, Johannesburg - View map