SOUTH AFRICA: PHASA suspends the membership of Krys Wessels from Kukuzans Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by AfricaHunting.com, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    The Professional Hunting Association of South Africa (PHASA) suspends the membership of professional hunter and safari operator Krys Wessels of Kukuzans Safaris.

    In a statement released today by PHASA, Chief Executive Officer Adri Kitshoff states:

    "PHASA has received a written complaint against one of our members, Mr. Krys Wessels, for misconduct which, if proved, would be seriously viewed by PHASA as being in contravention of its Constitution.

    The relevant sworn statements have been considered and the PHASA Executive Committee has decided to prosecute Mr. Wessels before the PHASA Disciplinary Tribunal. Mr. Wessels was informed accordingly on Wednesday, 22 September 2010.

    The PHASA Executive has further decided to suspend Mr. Wessels' membership of PHASA and all rights and privileges with immediate effect, until the matter has been finalised."


    If you have any further information regarding this matter or have had any experience, good or bad, with Professional Hunter and safari operator Krys Wessels of Kukuzans Safaris, please share it with us.
  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    PHASA Disciplinary Actions

    I guess it is not the first time that professional hunter and safari operator Krys Wessels of Kukuzans Safaris goes through PHASA disciplinary actions... Expelled from PHASA, at the time he could only reapply for membership in four years. This information comes from African Indaba eNewsletter dated September 2006.

    PHASA Disciplinary Actions

    Editor’s Comment: PHASA president Stewart Dorrington and the PHASA Executive Committee have to be congratulated for the decisive actions taken. Please see also the article “The Shooting of Captive Bred Lions” on the next page.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal of PHASA – the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa – arrived at a judgment in the two disciplinary cases against Mr Dawie Groenewald (Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris) and Mr Krys Wessels (Kukuzans Hunting Safaris). According to the judgments, the PHASA memberships of Mr Groenewald and Mr Wessels have been terminated with immediate effect. Both will be able to reapply for PHASA membership in four and three years’ time respectively and if they do reapply, PHASA will have to be satisfied that there are no outstanding complaints against them.

    The lawyers of Mr Wessels have lodged various objections against the findings of the Tribunal centering on the perception that the Tribunal did not afford Mr Wessels all his rights during his hearing. PHASA has in the meantime decided that the implementation of the disciplinary findings against Mr Wessels will be suspended pending a report to PHASA and the Tribunal by ECE (Pty) Ltd about whether or not there is substance to the objections of Mr Wessels. Both PHASA and the Tribunal believe that disciplinary process, which PHASA re-instituted in 2005, is on the right track and the independent review of Mr Wessels’ case re-confirms PHASA’s commitment. The Tribunal will also study and respond to the objections of Mr Wessels.

    The Tribunal and PHASA are very mindful of possible consequences resulting from an expulsion or membership suspension. If a member feels there has been a failure of natural justice, the Tribunal and PHASA take such concerns very seriously. They also stated it would only be fair to such person(s) to investigate the concerns and that until the Tribunal and PHASA are in a position to respond to the said concerns, the implementation of the expulsion should be suspended. The aim is for Mr Wessels’ case to be completed by the end of September 2006.

    The PHASA Executive Council proposed amending Paragraph 6 of the PHASA Constitution “Application for membership” with the criteria to be followed by PHASA when a person applies for membership which compels PHASA to have regard to any complaints against any applicant and imposes a duty on any applicant to disclose to PHASA any complaints they are aware of. If a complaint(s) is/are not disclosed and it comes to PHASA’s attention after the application for membership has been granted, such membership will automatically be terminated.

    “Application for membership shall be made to the Association in the form that may be prescribed form time to time. In considering the application the committee shall apply such procedure, will use such criteria and will take cognizance of any relevant fact
    consistent with the Bill of Rights, as it deems fit.”


    Source: PHASA



    The Shooting of Captive Bred Lions
    PHASA Policy Statement issued May 2006

    PHASA has always been opposed to the shooting of captive bred lions. Last year the executive committee took a strong stance against this practice and stated it would take action against any member who took part in any such hunts. However before any disciplinary action can be taken, a complaint needs to be laid against and investigated.

    There have been very few complaints laid although the practice still continues. The PHASA executive has decided to inform the members that such practices will not be tolerated any further even if no complaint is laid. Thus any member who may be involved in the shooting of captive bred lions is requested to refrain from such activities or resign your membership of PHASA. Furthermore, PHASA is going public with this stance. A letter will be sent out to the media letting them know what our stance has always been and now to what extent we will act.

    PHASA members should be aware that is it fraudulent to offer a captive bred lion as a free ranging lion on a hunt and that PHASA will act upon information that implicates any member in such activities.

    PHASA Canned Lion Shooting Policy Issued 1999
    1. PHASA hereby states categorically and unequivocally that it does not consider the practice of “canned lion shooting” to be a form of hunting.
    2. The legislation in some countries (or some provinces of countries) in Southern Africa does not adequately address the issue of “canned lion shooting” thus making the practice of lion breeding for shooting purposes and the actual shooting of such lion under a variety of conditions perfectly legal.
    3. PHASA is in agreement with civil society that adequate legislation should be introduced by the relevant authorities in order to put an end to “canned lion shooting”.
    4. PHASA deems an animal to be “canned“, when that animal cannot sustain itself, breed freely and be hunted under the principles of fair chase.
  3. MarvelAfrica

    MarvelAfrica AH Senior Member

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    Very BAD Experience...

    I am surprised that this Thread got no responses,

    I have an experience with him, and it is not good, and of what i have heard i am only one of a very long list..

    If anyone has queries you are welcome to PM me and i will share my experience.
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Feel free to share your experience here.
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I agree, please share it here.
    Was there any further results Jerome?
    Has this individual reapplied to PHASA? Since it is now four years later?
  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    The PHASA membership of Krys Wessels of Kukuzans Safaris was terminated back in 2006 however if you read the first post his PHASA membership was suspended again back in September of 2010. I do not have any further details or update on this matter and did not find Kukuzans nor Krys Wessels listed under PHASA members. On his website, kukuzans.co.za, he does claim to be a member of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) as well as the Safari Club International (SCI) and Hunters Guild.
  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Sorry, missed the 2010 suspension info.
    Amazing that he can claim to be a member and that does not cause PHASA to address it. Maybe, they don't know he is advertising as such.
  8. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    groenewald has supposedly sold his company to his ph...and it continues to operate. We all know how much those ph's make and how well they save their money!! the scam continues.
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    As always, creative crooks can hide in many places.
    It happens everywhere.
  10. MarvelAfrica

    MarvelAfrica AH Senior Member

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    I think that is where sites like these play a huge roll, help informing people of who and what to lookout for.

    I would rather not elaborate to much on my experience, but i filmed a 14 day hunt with a young first time bow hunter with them.

    The client spent 90 Percent of his bow hunting trip on the back of a vehicle, hunted quite a few animals but most where shot sitting on the back of a car, and some dodgy hunts...

    In my opinion bow hunter choose bow hunting for the main reason of the extra excitement and challenge, getting closer to the animals like in blinds or the challenge of a stalk.

    these guys was not at all prepared to handle a bow hunt, that was apparent from day one.

    The main thing that stood out was the Kudu, they where told they will be shooting a record kudu, selected bla bla in the limpopo province and guaranteed. the facts where it was not even RW as far as recall.

    And then i am one of a very long list of people owed money, that seems to be their thing, never paying their service providers.

    As far as i could understand in a discussion with a more informed individual there is also quite a bit of their trophies not shipped due to ethical hunting and payment questions with Nature conservation.

    My honest opinion, Stay away this guy is a smooth operator, he can talk the talk, but not walk the walk.
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I would like to thank the hunter for Wyoming who posted on the outfitters link about this group.

    I would have thought that there would have been more...
  12. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    have you went to the outfitters link and put in you review?

  13. MarvelAfrica

    MarvelAfrica AH Senior Member

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    FYI

    I copied this from huntingreport.com... link

    this is only a part of the report.....

    This is the group i have been involved with, the 2009 hunt, this link will explain everything, these guys did post quite a comprehensive report on Kukuzans...

    Before you book read the report..

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    July 1, 2010

    VIA EMAIL

    Ms. Barbara Crown, Editor The Hunting Report

    Dear Ms. Crown;

    I would like to report on a problem that has developed regarding the recent troubles being experienced by clients of Global Sporting Safaris, Inc. with Mr. C.J.O. Krys Wessels/Kukuzans Hunting Safaris [and/or Kukuzans Marketing (Pty) Ltd.] in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

    The first hint of trouble with Kukuzans came in regards to the shipment of trophies taken by Hunting Report subscriber Weston McArtor and his family on a hunt with Kukuzans in 2009. At the request of Mr. McArtor, their trophies were transferred from Kukuzans to Universal Trophy Services in Pretoria for dip/pack and shipping. Universal Trophy Services (Universal) has been holding these trophies ever since pending receipt of the approprioate paperwork from Kukuzans necessary to obtain the export permits and said documentation is still not forthcoming despite repeated attempts by both Global Sporting Safaris, Inc. (GSS), Mr. McArtor, and Rupert Dedekind/Universal to obtain said documentation. Both GSS and Universal have been assured by Mr. Wessels on more than one occasion that the paperwork would be forthcoming and it has yet to be produced. Now Mr. Wessels claims that GSS never paid for the trophies (or did not pay the correct trophy fees) and that he will not provide the requisite information until such time as he has received payment - funny that this never came up until a year post-hunt. We have complete files in this regard and can refute said claim. In the interim period of time, we have talked to the Professional Hunter (PH) that conducted the hunt on behalf of Kukuzans and it appears that the hunt may have been illegal (i.e., Kukuzans either did not have the appropriate authorization to hunt on the property or that the animals were never paid for) and that is why Krys is unable to produce the paperwork necessary for Universal to obtain the export permits for said trophy shipment.

    In May of this year, the McArtor family returned to South Africa to hunt with Kukuzans under an agreement reached with Krys directly during the SCI Convention in Reno, with the actual booking handled by GSS.

    This was a two-part hunt with a portion of the hunt conducted in South Africa for the family and a second hunt planned in Zimbabwe for their 17 year old son Dakota. GSS expressed concern to the McArtor family over the Zimbabwe portion of the hunt as Krys would not disclose the name of the safari operator he intended to use and we could not, in good conscience, be party to a hunt with any individuals that might be on the list of banned individuals. Moreover, there were issues concerning the cost of the hunt and what was actually being provided by Kukuzans. All the while, Krys was pressing both Mr. McArtor and GSS for payment on the Zimbabwe portion of the hunt. When it finally became apparent that payment would not be forthcoming until we had received information on the safari operator and principals involved therein, Krys divulged that the hunt would be conducted with Bouna Safaris. My research on Bouna Safaris, Travel and Tour was inconclusive concerning individuals on the banned list as there was one female principal with the same last name as a male national named on said banned list - I never received a satisfactory answer to my questions regarding the possibility of a familial relationship. As the departure date for the hunt was rapidly approaching, Mr. McArtor decided to move forward with the hunt despite my concern, an agreement with Kukuzans on what was specifically being included in said hunt (which was documented on the resulting invoice to Mr. McArtor) and payment was wired to Kukuzans on behalf of the McArtor family.

    That portion of the hunt in South Africa went fairly smoothly, with Dakota taking a lion with Deon Cilliers/Hunters Safaris (safari@yebo.co.za) and members of the family taking numerous plains game and a roan with J.M. Fourie/Amanzi Private Game Reserve. Unfortunately, Krys has never paid the trophy fees for these animals and they are being held by the property owners for non-payment (approximately $24,000 on Amanzi alone). This can be confirmed with both Hunters Safaris and Amanzi Private Game Reserve. We can also document that the trophy fees were paid directly to Kukuzans in a wire transfer sent on/about June 2, 2010.

    Upon conclusion of the South African portion of the hunt, the McArtor family was to be transferred to the Zambezi valley of Zimbabwe via vehicle for the leopard hunt. Their vehicle broke down outside of Polokwane and it was three days before the vehicle was repaired yet Kukuzans never offered to send a replacement vehicle from Bethlehem to continue with the safari or transport the McArtors back to the lodge even though Bethlehem was only two hours (+/-) away. Once the vehicle was repaired, they were denied entry into Zimbabwe because Kukuzans did not have their paperwork in order and they were forced to bribe their way across the border  with the monies used for the bribes paid by the accompanying professional hunters as Krys did not initially accompany them to Zimbabwe.

    Upon reaching the camp on May 15, they discovered that the tent camp was not finished and were placed in another camp. As stated above, Krys did not accompany them to Zimbabwe stating that he needed to get his gun permits in order and he subsequently advised the McArtor family not to shoot anything until he arrived in camp. He finally arrived on/about May 18, so they lost about four hunting days waiting for him to arrive .

    By prior arrangement, Dakota was left in the custody of Krys and Sarie Wessels following the departure of his parents and he was scheduled to spend much of the summer in apprenticeship with Kukuzans. Wes and Lisa departed camp for Harare on May 29 for their return flights to the United States and arrived at Harare only to find that Kukuzans had not made any provisions for their flights back to Johannesburg as agreed. They were forced to purchase their own tickets to JNB even though they had made a lump sum payment to Kukuzans for the Zimbabwe hunt that included all transportation from and to JNB.

    On the evening of June 1, Dakota arrowed a big leopard, but did not recover the animal as it was near dark; consequently, tracking of the leopard was postponed until the following morning when the follow-up could be conducted in the daylight. In the interim, Krys strictly forbade the Kukuzans PH (Vaatjie Schoeman) from following up the wounded leopard pending his arrival back in camp. Krys arrived later that afternoon around 3:00 PM and would not allow anyone to accompany him other than the Zimbabwean personnel in following up the leopard. After thirty minutes, Krys returned and declared that the shot had been high and the animal was not recoverable - then offered another leopard to Dakota for a discounted price ($18,000). It was the consensus of opinion of those professional hunters in camp that the leopard could have been recovered (see attached emails) had the tracking begun early that morning and the blood trail followed to its conclusion.

    On June 5 Krys departed the camp in Zimbabwe, leaving Dakota behind with Vaatjie, Kevin (a second PH), Theo (Operations Manager for Kukuzans) and Pidy (one of Kukuzans trackers) ostensibly to tag the trophies and follow in a day or so. No arrangements had been made with Bouna Safaris for payment of trophy fees or daily rates prior to his departure despite previous communications between staff and Bouna in this regard. His departure without making arrangements for payment resulted in the entire party, including Dakota, being threatened with arrest by Zimbabwean authorities for non-payment. As Dakota was an underage American citizen, an agreement was reached whereby they were all placed under house arrest by Bouna Safaris (see attached correspondence).

    I believe that the attached correspondence will shed some light on the situation and there is no need for me to regurgitate all of this information herein. Suffice it to say that the McArtors paid a great deal of money for the leopard hunt in Zimbabwe and left their underage son in the explicit care of Krys and Sarie Wessels, only to have them desert Dakota and subject him to potential harm in a foreign country resulting from a failure to meet his fiduciary and custodial responsibilities. As you will see, the McArtors made their trophy payment directly to Kukuzans immediately upon their return to the US via wire transfer as previously agreed, yet none of the African parties involved have been paid for services rendered including Hunters Safaris, Amanzi or Bouna Safaris. The staff of Kukuzans involved in this fiasco were also not paid and have all since left the employ of Kukuzans due to non-payment of salaries due.

    In addition to the McArtor family, GSS has also booked a number of clients to Kukuzans in the coming months under several long-running promotions that included a combination of international airfare, daily rates and/or trophy fees. Following the debacle with the McArtor family, we began trying to contact Kukuzans, including both Krys and Sarie, in an attempt to determine what was going on, the status of our booked hunters, and the status of their international flights. Neither Krys nor Sarie have been forthcoming with any substantive explanation for non-payment of the McArtor trophy fees, why the paperwork for the 2009 trophies has not been completed, or the status of the other hunts booked.

    We have since learned that three hunters scheduled to leave for South Africa in less than thirty days have never received their travel documents from the US travel agency employed by Kukuzans to handle the travel arrangements for these package hunts - which was all handled exclusively by Sarie. Subsequent email messages to Kukuzans in this regard have failed to solicit any response there from or an explanation as to why the flights were not paid for. In light of the current situation, GSS has taken it upon ourselves to book the travel for these hunters at our own expense and we have moved all of our clients scheduled with Kukuzans to another South African outfitter to avoid any further complications.

    As I stated in our telephone conversation, we have been advised that Krys has been arrested on at least two separate occasions in South Africa for failure to pay his debts and we are also advised by counsel in South Africa that there are numerous actions being filed against Kukuzans regarding a very disturbing pattern of non-payment, fraud and deceptive business practices on the part thereof. We also believe that Bouna Safaris has filed a complaint against Kukuzans and Krys Wessels in Zimbabwe.

    In particular, my clients alone have lost approximately $75,850 in deposits not including the McArtors. The invoiced price tag for the McArtor hunts in South Africa and Zimbabwe was $58,416, which was prepaid prior to the safari, plus an additional $25,900 in trophy fees wired directly to Kukuzans by Lisa McArtor on June 2, 2010 - yet Krys failed to pay Bouna Safaris and subsequently allowed Dakota McArtor and three employees of Kukuzans sit in Zimbabwe under house arrest in the Zambezi valley for several days with no regard for their situation or well being after having been paid in full by Lisa McArtor. Moreover, trophy fees for lion, roan and other plains game taken by the McArtor family on properties owned by Hunters Safaris and Amanzi Private Game Reserve were not paid by Kukuzans which will most likely result in the forfeiture of said trophies unless Mr. McArtor makes payment directly thereto for said trophies OR Kukuzans is compelled to meet their financial obligations.

    As stated above, I think that the attached documents will corroborate the information that I have related above. I have no doubt that Theo, Kevin and Vaatjie would be happy to respond to any request(s) for information in this regard. Likewise, I suspect that Bouna Safaris would also be willing to respond to an email request for information in this regard. Please be advised that we have absolutely no complaint whatsoever with Bouna Safaris or their staff and appreciate the way that the affair was handled on their end. Contact information for these individuals is as follows:

    Sincerely,

    Robert M. Anderson, CWB Africa Program Director Global Sporting Safaris, Inc.
  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    What a disaster! I can tell you this, there is no way I would have left my son, 17 or not, in the "care" of someone I had already had problems with. They are very fortunate indeed that nothing serious happened to him.
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Wow, a lot of people are not going to forget this episode! Just terrible!
  16. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Sounds like the service providers get to take a bath with these guys never mind all the other unethical crap.
    I hope people don't forget and keep their eyes open and share their nightmares and the dream hunts.

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