Sale of San rock art lands Port Shepstone resident behind bars

Sale of San rock art lands Port Shepstone resident behind bars

The authenticity of the rock art is still being investigated at this time.

San rock art

Authorities were alerted to a possible piece of authentic San rock art that had been put up for sale on social media.

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The Hawks (South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) received a tip-off that there was some very suspicious activity taking place online as a suspect was trying to sell a piece of San rock art on Facebook and other websites.

The 48-year-old from Port Shepstone was arrested by the Hawks, who were working together with the SAPS K9 Unit. 

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They swooped in on the individual since it was suspected that the person had violated the National Heritage Resources Act. According to the act, it is illegal to trade any archaeological items or sell heritage artifacts in South Africa.

The suspect has been released on R1,000 bail while the investigation continues.

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If the confiscated rock is found to be fake, charges will be altered accordingly.

It is important to make sure these pieces of history are protected and these San rock paintings are also considered a key cultural tourism resource.

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These paintings are of special significance and in the Drakensberg in around 600 caves between Royal Natal and Bushman's Neck, there are more than 40,000 individual rock paintings, with many approximated to be over 3000 years old.

The beautiful and culturally-rich drawings and paintings can be found across the country from the Cederberg mountains, through the Eastern and Nothern Cape, all the way to Limpopo.

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Hopefully, the piece of art is not real and these heritage sites will remain unharmed for many years to come.

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Main image courtesy of @SABreakingNews/Twitter

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