What are the (legal) obligations of South Africa outfitter to client in Zimbabwe?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by JamieD, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Jamie, I am really sorry to hear... so much to say, yet where to begin and is it too late?

    I would recommend contacting and lodging a formal complaint with the following people in South Africa... Perhaps one of these organizations may be able to assist you. And please name names by being really specific with all contact information that you may have, business names, any party involved. If anything it will perhaps help another hunter avoiding what you are going through. Please feel free to include in this thread a copy of your formal complaint as well.


    [​IMG]
    Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA)
    www.professionalhunters.co.za

    [​IMG]
    South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism
    www.environment.gov.za

    [​IMG]South Africa Government Online
    www.gov.za

    [​IMG]South Africa Travel Online
    www.southafrica.net

    Sport hunting in South Africa is also regulated by the different Provincial Nature Conservation Authorities which are listed below.

    [​IMG]Provincial Authorities
    - Limpopo Tourism Authority
    http://www.golimpopo.com

    [​IMG]Provincial Government
    - Limpopo Province
    Department of Finance, Economic Affairs, Tourism and Environment
    http://www.limpopo.gov.za
     
  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Is this the Johan Swart that you are referring to?

    Company name: LIMPOPO HUNTING
    Website: www.limpopohunting.biz
    Email: Johan Swart limpopohunting@gmail.com
    Tel: Johan Swart (in South Africa) +27 (82) 841 8881
    Fax: (in South Africa) +27 (86) 678 2732

    The following reads on their website:
    LIMPOPO HUNTING offers trophy hunting in Southern Africa. Our business is a family operation which is jointly managed by the Le Roux family (Alma and Christo) and the Swart family (Ria and Johan). Our operation is based on our own private game ranch of 1800 Ha (4500 acres).

    If so I would immediately contact the Le Roux family if you have not already done so and copy them on all past and future correspondences... Perhaps they will help you.

    Tel: Christo Le Roux (in Canada) +1 (204) 281 1675
    Email: Christo Le Roux: christoalma@hotmail.com


    If I were you I would copy each and every email that you send to Johan Swart to anyone connected to this matter and anyone who works with him in this industry in any way.


    LimpopoHunting.biz Whois Record

    Domain Name: LIMPOPOHUNTING.BIZ
    Domain ID: D10899428-BIZ
    Sponsoring Registrar: WILD WEST DOMAINS, INC.
    Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 440
    Registrar URL (registration services): Wild West Domains
    Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited
    Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Registrant ID: CR45401339
    Registrant Name: Johan Swart
    Registrant Organization: Johan Swart
    Registrant Address1: PO Box 11817
    Registrant Address2: Hatfield
    Registrant City: Pretoria
    Registrant State/Province: Gauteng
    Registrant Postal Code: 0028
    Registrant Country: South Africa
    Registrant Country Code: ZA
    Registrant Phone Number: +27.0124202988
    Registrant Facsimile Number: +27.0124203893
    Registrant Email:
    Administrative Contact ID: CR45401343
    Administrative Contact Name: Esme Haasbroek
    Administrative Contact Organization: eDisc CC
    Administrative Contact Address1: P.O.Box 321
    Administrative Contact City: Uitenhage
    Administrative Contact State/Province: Eastern Cape
    Administrative Contact Postal Code: 6230
    Administrative Contact Country: South Africa
    Administrative Contact Country Code: ZA
    Administrative Contact Phone Number: +27.0419610597
    Administrative Contact Facsimile Number: +27.0419610597
    Administrative Contact Email:
    Billing Contact ID: CR45401344
    Billing Contact Name: Esme Haasbroek
    Billing Contact Organization: eDisc CC
    Billing Contact Address1: P.O.BOX 321
    Billing Contact City: Uitenhage
    Billing Contact State/Province: Eastern Cape
    Billing Contact Postal Code: 6230
    Billing Contact Country: South Africa
    Billing Contact Country Code: ZA
    Billing Contact Phone Number: +27.0419610597
    Billing Contact Facsimile Number: +27.0419610597
    Billing Contact Email:
    Technical Contact ID: CR45401341
    Technical Contact Name: Esme Haasbroek
    Technical Contact Organization: eDisc CC
    Technical Contact Address1: P.O.Box 321
    Technical Contact City: Uitenhage
    Technical Contact State/Province: Eastern Cape
    Technical Contact Postal Code: 6230
    Technical Contact Country: South Africa
    Technical Contact Country Code: ZA
    Technical Contact Phone Number: +27.0419610597
    Technical Contact Facsimile Number: +27.0419610597
    Technical Contact Email:
    Name Server: DNS1.SUPREMEDNS.COM
    Name Server: DNS2.SUPREMEDNS.COM
    Created by Registrar: TUCOWS.COM CO.
    Last Updated by Registrar: WILD WEST DOMAINS, INC.
    Last Transferred Date: Thu Apr 08 07:36:33 GMT 2010
    Domain Registration Date: Mon Sep 12 10:24:48 GMT 2005
    Domain Expiration Date: Wed Sep 11 23:59:59 GMT 2013
    Domain Last Updated Date: Mon Sep 03 07:24:39 GMT 2012
     
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Jamie, forgive me if I missed it but why have you not answered in detail the following questions by Mike? Hard to understand why you are not putting it all out there at this point...
     
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    I would recommend contacting and lodging a formal complaint with the following people in Zimbabwe... Also some of these people may be able to assist you.

    [​IMG]
    Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association (ZPHGA)
    www.zphga.com

    [​IMG]
    Safaris Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ)
    www.soaz.net

    [​IMG]
    Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA)
    www.zimparks.com

    [​IMG]
    Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)
    www.met.gov.zw

    [​IMG]
    Zimbabwe Government Online
    www.gta.gov.zw
     
  5. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Very little can be found in regard to your PH Danie Combrink... Perhaps you can give us a bit more info on him.

    Is this the Danie Combrink that you are referring to?

    Danie Combrink
    Company Name: Enkwanati Safaris (Alldays Limpopo)
    Qualifications: 12 Years Profesional Hunter
    Enkwanati Taxidermy - Bapsfontein - Gauteng
    Address:
    No: Plot 99 Nestpark Bapsfontein, Gauteng 1510, Johannesburg
    Tel: (082) 300 2890
     
  6. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    Thanks Jerome, we have been reluctant to spread their names around because we feel like if they get angry we will lose any thread of goodwill that could possibly be left. We feel like hostages. My hunting partner, Don, was with us on all 3 of these trips too and he now says that a part of him felt like we needed to book with them again in hopes of having them follow through when we first started questioning. It just makes you feel like a hostage like I said. Don kept telling me what a good guy Johan was and he would eventually follow through but thought the only problem was disorganization that kept him from doing it.

    Don did call Christo many times and at first Johan was more quick to keep us informed (Christo is a family member of Johan's). But I think he got tired of it all and eventually stopped answering and returning any of Don's calls. Don had known Christo from previous shows and this is also why he felt confident about Johan since he had talked to them both in person before hunting. Now Christo won't talk to Don at all. We sent some emails to PHASA but they never responded.

    I hunted the lion with Benkoe. They have 2 farms and we only had contact info for the farm we weren't at. We sent a note to him at the other address asking them to forward to the guy we hunted with in hopes he would talk to Danie since Danie had hunted lion there many times before. We also never heard back from Benkoe- don't think the message got to the right person. We thought they said something about some kind of permit only being valid for 6 months. We have the copy of the register and export permit application- is that what is only valid for 6 months? What can be done after that since its already past 6 months?
     
  7. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    I understand the hostage scenario, it is most often the way that hunters feel when things go bad but I still do not understand why you are not putting it all out there at this point.

    I would email PHASA at any and all email addresses that they have, do so daily until they respond to you... If they don't reply to you after a week of emailing them daily please let me know and I will call them! Don't know what you wrote to PHASA but no matter if the guy or outfit is a member the least they can do is get back to you as they are there to assist hunters and promote hunting in South Africa amongst other things...

    I would question PHASA or Benkoe in regard to your permit situation.

    Are you referring to the follwoing Benkoe Lions?
    Website: www.benkoe.co.za
    Email: info@benkoe.co.za

    Can you please confirm that the people that I mentioned above are indeed the ones involved with your hunts, I would not want anyone not related to be unintentionally mentioned here.
     
  8. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    Yes Jerome, sorry, I started a message that I said these were the right people but my computer froze and lost the message so I had to do it again. Yes, the Johan and Danie you listed are the correct ones. Yes it is also Benkoe Lions that you listed. They were very professional with us and gave us a great hunt. They did not seem the type of organization who would want to put up with this smear in their industry which is why we thought to contact them. I think the message just didn't get forwarded to the right people. Johnny is the one we hunted with and I think he moves back and forth between the two farms. The other concession that is owed the money and holding the trophies we got there is Oryx Trail by Kuruman. We have been in contact with them but like I said, they want all money for trophies, lodging and interest before they will release the animals.
     
  9. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    There is one word to describe what I've read here: "CROOKS!"

    The first Outfitter is a crook who doesn't pay landowners for animals hunted on their properties. The PH involved is an unethical crook who "stole" clients from an Outfitter that he'd worked for and then continued the trend by also not paying landowners for their animals... Truly a sad state of affairs!

    Your PH might have an Outfitters license in SA but this means nothing in Zimbabwe and not PHASA or Nature Conservation will be able to do anything for you as far as getting your trophies out of Zim is concerned. If the TR2 was not in order and if the money wasn't paid into a Zim bank account - stamped by the Reserve Bank there is unfortunately no way that your trophies will ever get shipped from Zim. This is the sad reality of the situation...

    You gave money to the PH with the understanding that he would pay whoever needs to get paid in order for you to get your trophies. The fact that he did not pay landowners resulting in you being unable to get your trophies means he is in breach of contract and based on this you will have a valid claim against him for full restitution in a civil court of law. But almost more importantly; the PH's failure to give money that was entrusted to him to the landowners could also make him guilty of a criminal offence namely THEFT which is even more serious.

    To lay criminal charges against those who stole from you, you'd have to do so in person at a Police Station in South Africa but I think it might be possible for you to appoint a South African lawyer to handle the civil matter on your behalf - without the need of you having to come to SA yourself. In my opinion this is exactly what you should do (and do so quickly as civil claims need to be instituted within 3 years after the event that gave rise to the claim).

    I can refer you to a competent lawyer here in SA. I suspect that whatever he will charge you for his services will be negligible compared to the money you've already lost. I doubt that he'll be able to get you your trophies back but he might be able to get some money back for you which you can apply to a legal hunt with a reputable Operator. At the very least get an opinion from a lawyer and then decide on a way forward.

    Feel free to contact me privately for info.

    Best,
     
  10. NYAMAZANA SAFARIS

    NYAMAZANA SAFARIS AH Veteran

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    I totally agree with you Chris these guys need to be held accountable, word needs to get out that you can not be a CROOK and get away with it , the sooner the industry is free of these type of individuals the better the industry will be and the longer it will last.

    Wayne
     
  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    To answer your question:
    Simple, Breach of Contractual obligations.
    Does not matter what country you are in.

    Consult an attorney. (as suggested by Chris.)
    A good one will assess your scenario and advise you.

    You are assuming it is pressure that has caused the recent contact. I am a little more cynical, given the track record of those involved.
    The only pressure he is feeling is an empty pocket.
    It is just long enough to wait for you to be more desperate and be willing to now participate in ANOTHER hostage taking.
    "I'll help you get your trophies back"

    I'll be direct: DO NOT PART WITH ANY MORE MONEY.

    Allowing the "problem" outfitter to be your intermediary to solve another problem! NEVER.




    The "PH" that walked with money, possibly died. (or moved into hiding)
    Who is the executor of his estate? That is the person to contact.

    I'll bet the money is long gone and he has no assets.

    Like Mike asked: Who was the Zimbabwe PH? They were legally in charge of the hunt.

    Sounds like a double or triple ended scam took place. (Hunter, Farmer, possibly also a Zim PH)


    A resource on scam types to look out for.
    Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre - Scam Types - Advanced Fee Letter Fraud (419 / West African / Nigerian Letters)



    I hope you have some good pictures to enjoy.


    One last resource:
    Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Good luck.
     
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I thought a few hours over what Chris T. posted on #29. The whole problem is....even if you win in court, how do you acquire money from a crook....the answer is you don't. They are usually not flush with cash! They win and you are not going to get those animals back in any condition to mount...if at all. That's the terrible truth in dealing with a bad business deal..you lose every time!
     
  13. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    The outfitter, Johan, did pay the Zim concession- the problem is that they did not act legally and deposit it in the bank as they should have. Instead they kept the money for themselves- supposedly putting back into the camp but no matter. We are upset with Johan because he knew better than to just trust that he could hand them the money and they would do it the right way and put it in the bank. They should have met IN the bank and Johan should have left with a receipt instead of expecting to get it months later when he returned. There were others who saw Johan pay them so him keeping the money is not the issue in that case. We just do not feel it is right that we are the ones that suffer for his poor choice in how he handled our money. Morally as we see it, if it costs money out of his own pocket to get our trophies released he should do so because it was his mistake in not seeing that the Zim money got put in the bank as it should have. Again, the Zim PH has passed away so there would have to be another way to get the forms necessary when and if the Zim camp would pay the fees they should have (not likely).

    As to our PH situation, we told Danie (our PH) that we wanted Johan to have no part in this last hunt. Danie should have been more forthcoming in his part in the Zim hunt if indeed he was supposed to be a partner to the outfitter for that hunt and not just a hired PH. We still do not believe either Johan or Danie went into this as crooks. They both just made bad decisions they are unwilling to own up to and don't want to face consequences for. More like "oops...oh well its not my problem anymore". We would like to hold them accountable to their bad choices and are just looking to everyone here as to the best way to do that. We also agree that even if we win, there will be no money compensation anyway. We would just like enough pressure to put on them to send our stuff. Just do what we paid them to do in the first place.

    Regardless of how this turns out, if anyone is potentially thinking of hunting in Africa don't let our experience deter you. It is an amazing place but just like anywhere else in the world, you just have to deal with the right people.
     
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I would hire a lawyer, give yourself a peace of mind that you tried everything. It's tough road either way. Hopefully you can at least get your lion.
     
  15. zenbear

    zenbear AH Veteran

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    The simple truth is the there are no shortcuts for homework. You need to check references. You need to check how your trophies are going to get home. Dipping and Packing are a large part of the experience . I feel so bad when I read about an experience like this. I am always screaming that forums like this should have a "wall of shame" that folks can post the name of outfitters they have had a poor experience with. If the bell is rung enough it will ring true. We need to learn how to protect each other and reward the guys who do it correctly. I am going back to a place that is wonderful. In fact i got periodic calls making sure my trophies came home just right. I used swift dip and found them to be exceptional. My trophies arrived here in wonderful condition. I don't mean to be a billboard and I imagine that there are many competent providers so do your homework.

    good luck - Jerry
     
  16. africauntamed

    africauntamed New Member

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    You have been conned and I am choked that you are not more angry.
     
  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    "Stockholm syndrome, or capture肪onding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 27% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.
    Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes 都trong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other. One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual's response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they no longer become a threat."
     
  18. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    We are upset and very disappointed- there has hardly been a day that goes by that we don't think about all of this, but being angry gives them the power. Anger does us no good and takes away from any good experience we had while we were there. We believe God is a just God and vengeance is His and He will deal with anyone who has treated others unjustly, remembering that at times we may be the ones who have been unjust in a situation. We want to do something on our behalf and fight for what is right but we have peace in believing Romans 8:28 "God works for the good of all who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose." Something good will come from this either with us, with those involved or to someone who hears of this story.
     
  19. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I might end up ruffling some feathers but here goes:

    This is a prime reason why a lot of guys don't trust South African outfitters to operate hunts in Zim.

    It's simple. Assuming you lived in the United States....would you hire a Florida outfitter that "knows a guy with great deer hunting in Iowa/Saskatchewan/(insert place outside his regular specialty)"....give him lots of money and hope he delivers? Not likely. You would contact a guide, agent or outfitter in Iowa/Sask/or wherever you wanted to go because you know he has the area, the expertise and the proper licenses. Then why is it OK to do this in Africa?????

    I know a lot of hunters become great friends with their South African PH. I myself am included in that bunch. But it sill boggles my mind why they think that a PH with one country experience, one PH license in that country, etc...is going to be able to truly provide a great hunt in a country that they are not licensed in and that is one of the most difficult to obtain PH certification and outfitter status (Zimbabwe). On top of that, a country that has it's own laws, wildlife regulations and shipping/trophy export procedures. Add a CITES tag and limited annual specie export quota to the mix and you really have a mess.

    On top of that, why not use an agent to escrow funds for such a big hunt? He is in the United States, has your money parked safely in an account until you return or at least right before the hunt commences. Your money stays where you live and can sue in a US court of law if necessary. Yes, I am an attorney and have handled several cases where money, trophies, non-paying agents and no show outfitters have gone to court. I am still in the middle of two of these as we speak. They are not fun, not likely to end in the recovery anticipated and nobody "wins" in the end.

    What I'm saying is that it is very difficult to "unring" a bell like this. However, with due diligence and proper research, you can avoid even coming close to the bell!
     
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    What you are saying makes 100 percent sense to me....it's simple common sense, especially if you have been to Africa a few times and know how business works. I preach it often here on AH. It just saves a lot of heartache. Trusting a RSA outfitter to run a hunt in Zim to me is 50/50 deal, it could work or it could go terribly wrong!

    And I love the idea of escrowing funds, I have never done it but I think I will never hunt again unless I can escrow funds here in the USA.

    But if you go to ZIM there is no good reason not to research the Zim PH and outfitter too, to make sure your dreams fit what that outfit has to offer. Plenty of good hunting to be had in any country, but you can't cut corners.
     

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