A Cape Town auctioneer with a reputation for conducting unusual transactions surpassed himself on Friday when he sold the contents of a sperm bank for R50 000, Auction Alliance reported.

Rael Levitt, who raises money for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Aids charities, sold the sperm bank at the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve in the Northern Province on behalf of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

The genome resource bank, which houses frozen sperm from 20

different African wildlife species, including rhino and buffalo, was bought by British Petroleum at a price of R50 000.

"Every day our company (Auction Alliance) sells assets for banks, but I never thought the day would arrive when I would eventually auction a bank, never mind the fact that it was a sperm bank," a bemused Levitt said.

Wielding the gavel, Levitt quipped that bidders would not be required to make any personal deposits in the bank.

His previous unusual charity "sales" include several regional premiers, a number of government ministers and model Naomi Campbell.

He attracted international attention when he auctioned a life size portrait of former president Nelson Mandela for R600 000.

"The public does not realise that charity auctions are a multi-million rand spinner for much needed institutions around the country," Levitt said. - Sapa