The City of Cape Town says it is extremely concerned about the personal safety of officials involved in its Urban Baboon Programme.
This after one of the City’s officials was threatened and also had his personal property vandalised.
According to the City, a threat was sent to the official’s cellphone with the message that he has been ‘warned’ and that ‘Kataza’, the male chacma baboon from the Slangkop troop in the Kommetjie area, ‘is untouchable’.
Kataza was returned to his natal Slangkop troop home over a week ago after spending over 70 days in Tokai.
“We have noticed a trend where officials are being targeted and vilified by some of those who disapprove of the City’s Urban Baboon Programme. It is very distressing that it has now reached a point where an official is threatened with physical harm shortly after his personal property was vandalised. This is over and above the hate-mails, abusive messages, and insults aimed at staff who are, as part of their duties, involved in managing this programme. These intimidation and bullying tactics are absolutely shocking and unacceptable,” said the City’s MAYCO Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.
The City also raised concern over the ongoing interference with baboon rangers whose aim is to keep the baboon troops out of the urban environment in the Kommetjie area.
Local community members have once again been requested not follow or feed Kataza, but allow him to adapt to his surroundings.
Moreover, residents have been called upon to not interfere with the baboon rangers.