South Africa's Minister of State Security David Mahlobo has denied accusations of links to a rhino trafficker that were alleged in Al Jazeera's The Poachers' Pipeline investigation.
In a statement posted on the ministry's website, Mahlobo "noted with grave concern and disappointment the unfounded and slanderous allegations made against him".
Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit said it uncovered evidence of high-level political connections to rhino poaching in Africa and broadcast the investigation on Sunday.
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The investigation raises serious questions about the involvement of Mahlobo, as well as members of a Chinese presidential delegation in the illegal rhino horn trade.
Mahlobo refuted Al Jazeera's investigation "with all the contempt that they deserve" and said that he "reserves his rights in respect of those making such false claims".
"It is extremely reckless and mischievous for an internationally renowned broadcaster like Al Jazeera to be broadcasting such misleading content despite our response," said Mahlobo.
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The security chief also stressed that South African officials have launched a new investigation on alleged rhino poaching activities in the country.
Mahlobo further stated that he has been "at the forefront in fighting against environmental crimes" since he was appointed security minister in 2014.
Source: Al Jazeera