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Animal auction to take place at Ramaphosa’s Limpopo game farm

President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the first breeders of Ankole cattle in South Africa and has written a book about them, 'Cattle of the Ages’.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the first breeders of Ankole cattle in South Africa and has written a book about them, 'Cattle of the Ages’.

Published Jun 12, 2022

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Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm is set to host a national auction where various animals, including his “special Ankole cows”, will be up for grabs to the highest bidders, despite the controversy surrounding the presidency and his farm.

The Phala Phala game farm, located in Bela Bela, Limpopo came under scrutiny last week following the revelation that it was robbed in 2020, when millions in US dollars were reportedly taken, but no case was opened by the President.

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As a result, Ramaphosa has come under pressure in Parliament to disclose all the details about the robbery and why he opted not to report the case, or inform the public about the incident.

He has refused to answer, saying he would allow due investigation processes to take place.

However, the scandal involving Ramaphosa has not deterred the organisers of the auction – the Ankole Cattle Breeders’ Society of SA – from proceeding with their plans.

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The society confirmed it would host the national auction at the President’s farm, where Ankole breeders would bring their animals to be auctioned.

Ankole cattle will be among animals that will be auctioned next weekend at the Phala Phala game farm, owned by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: FILED

According to a notice posted on social media, interested participants have to pay a booking fee of R500 to secure a spot, with the hybrid (physical and online) auction set to start at 11am on Saturday.

Kellyn Cotton, the organiser from the Ankole Cattle Breeders’ Society, said the auction will include all breeders across the country bringing their animals to be auctioned. She declined to comment on Ramaphosa’s livestock.

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“There are a lot of animals that will be auctioned from various breeders. This is our national auction; it has nothing to do with what happened to the President's farm and I am not allowed to comment on that. All I can say is that the auction will take place from his farm – Phala Phala – as he is a member of [the] society,” she said.

Regarding prices, Cotton said it was impossible to speculate how much would be made out of the auction.

“It depends on the bidders, I can not tell how much will be made,” said Cotton.

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Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Mgwenya declined to respond to questions related to the auction.

"The auction is an activity outside of the government. Please refer your questions to the auction organisers,” said Mgwenya.

Earlier this week, Ramaphosa confirmed the money stolen from the farm was the proceeds of animal sales.

Ramaphosa was among the first and biggest breeders of Ankole cattle and has reportedly been making millions from breeding and selling them.

According to an agriculture website, Food for Mzansi, Ramaphosa made history In 2004 when he brought the first Ankole genetics into South Africa.

This was after he gained a love for the breed during one of his visits to Uganda, but was unable to bring live animals into the country because of inadequate disease control measures in Uganda.

The website reported that Ramaphosa then bought 43 cows, which were transferred from Uganda to an embryo station run by Embryo Plus in Kenya. There, the cows were artificially inseminated, the embryos flushed and sent to South Africa, where they were implanted into surrogate cows.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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