- President Cyril Ramaphosa sold cattle to the value of $1.3 million (R19.5 million) from his personal game farms this weekend
- The sale formed part of an auction organised by a group of six breeders which Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala Farm forms part of
- Ramaphosa has come under criticism for touting land expropriation without compensation while personally owning several game farms
President Cyril Ramaphosa sold cattle to the value of $1.3 million (R19.5 million) from his Phala Phala Wildlife Farm at an auction over the weekend. The auction was organised by a group of six breeding farms which are known as Stud Game Breeders.
The auction was held near the town of Bela Bela and is reported to have raised R99 million for the participating farmers which include the South African president. The auction included the sale of Cape buffalo and kudu.
The president has come under criticism for his behaviour on the night before the auction took place. Ramaphosa gave his assurance to a group of wealthy game farmers who are also among the single biggest landowners in the country that land reform would be handled with extreme care.
Briefly.co.za gathered that this has once again raised one of the biggest issues Ramaphosa faces as leader. South Africans have and continue to question where Ramaphosa’s loyalties lie due to his personal wealth and business associations.
IOL.co.za reported that Professor Somadoda Fikeni from Unisa said Ramaphosa has struggled with invoking contradiction in the public mind for some time. Fikeni said while Ramaphosa is a leading voice in the land reform debate he is also super wealthy and ordinary people struggle to unify his message.
Fikeni added that commercial (mostly) white farmers had come to realise that land reform was going to happen and were turning to Ramaphosa to at least get a say in how the process unfolds.
Fin24.com reported that on the eve of the auction there was talk that Ramaphosa’s 15 lots up for auction would be boycotted because of his administration’s stance on land expropriation.
Ramaphosa’s lots included his rare Ugandan Ankola cattle which he takes huge pride in and the cattle have even featured in an art exhibition. Ramaphosa did not attend the auction because he had to depart for his first official visit to China.
The ANC and Ramaphosa say land reform is needed to redress the land ownership pattern in South Africa and to heal the wounds of the past to enable South Africa to move into the future as a unified country.
Critics of the ANC said the land reform debate was an attempt by the ruling party to hide its failure to properly address land reform since taking power in 1994. Opposition parties said the ANC was using land as an emotive election tactic ahead of the crucial 2019 general election.
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