Thursday, May 17, 2007

Snakes in the mail

The media statement below, by the Gauteng Provincial Government, could be a good starting point for a PI story for the YA market. (have permission to put up here).

The Gauteng Environmental Management Inspectors, dubbed the Green Scorpions, say they intercepted a suspicious post office parcel and removed ten extremely venomous snakes.

Working on a tip-off from the security section at the South African Postal Services, the Gauteng Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs) searched a suspicious parcel at Primrose Post office in Germiston, outside Johannesburg..

The parcel, from the Czech Republic, contained four video cassettes. Opening the parcel, the EMI's were astounded to find that the parcel contained no cassettes but extremely poisonous snakes, including 3 Albino Monocle Cobras; 3 Arabian Saw-scaled Vipers / Palestine Saw-scaled Vipers; 2 Namibian Spitting Cobras and 2 Taipans.

Taipans, usually found in Australia, are considered to be the most venomous snakes. All the snakes confiscated are venomous with no anti-venom available in South Africa.

Subsequent to this operation and collaborating with the Germiston SAPS Organised Crime Unit, the Security and Investigation Services of the South African Post Office and the Endangered and Protected Species Dog Unit of the SAPS Gauteng, the EMIs embarked on another sting operation.

The addressee on the 'video cassettes' parcel revealed to the investigations team that he had been requested to allow an acquaintance to receive a parcel through his postal box and that another parcel is expected.

A follow-up surveillance and raid at the acquaintance's residence, after the arrival of the second parcel, yielded a total of thirteen (13) snakes, including three found at the acquaintance's residence.

A criminal case is being investigated and the authorities in the Czech Republic and Australia are assisting in the ongoing investigations.


I finished two writing-related articles and submitted them to, a newsletter and online community for writers, for consideration.

I hope the articles are suited to the publication, because I don’t want to spend time looking for a home for them.


Trade Union Solidarity’s Helping Hand Fund says it plans to turn a timber structure at the Hercules police station into a child-friendly room.

The structure, previously used as a storeroom, will be painted and furnished on Saturday. More than 200 toy bears will also be donated to the police station as part of the Fund’s “Protect Our Children” campaign.

The toy bears are some of the almost 1 300 that took part in the Fund’s “bear march” on April 25th, when Sheldean Human’s alleged killer appeared in the Pretoria Regional Court.

Members of the public were asked to donate bears to symbolise the approximately 1 100 children that are murdered in South Africa every year. The bears are now being distributed to police stations countrywide, to be given to young crime victims.

More than 400 bears have already been given to the Acacia police station in Pretoria and the Park Road police station in Bloemfontein, in the Free State Province.

“We think that it is important to create a child-friendly environment for children who had been the victims of crime. They can then be questioned in a place in which they feel more at ease,” says Dirk Hermann, deputy general secretary of Solidarity and head of the Helping Hand Fund.

Members of the public are still welcome to donate bears to the Fund or their nearest police station. To take part in this campaign, phone Dirk at 082-461-8485 or email him at dirk at solidariteit dot co dot za.

Find a children’s charity located near you (all nine provinces) on the PRODDER database at and lend a helping hand.

No comments:

Copyright Notice

With the exception of entries specifically credited to individual authors, the content on this blog is copyrighted by Damaria Senne and may not be reprinted without permission.