Sep 30, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Cattle sale that dragged Ramaphosa into political storm is back

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has denied allegations that he covered up a robbery at his Limpopo game farm, is planning a livestock auction on the property next week.

Ramaphosa is one of the country’s largest farmers from Ankole Cattle, a rare Ugandan longhorn breed, and a number of the prized animals are up for sale, according to the auction website. The 69-year-old president began breeding the animals after meeting his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.

One of the lots Ramaphosa will offer for sale at next week’s auction consists of five frozen embryos of a Cow named Rogo and a bull named Diambo, whose “offspring are among the most desirable Ankole in SA”, according to the sales catalogue. At an auction in 2017, three months before Ramaphosa became leader of the ANC, some of his Ankole cattle were sold for up to R520,000 each.

Former spy chief Arthur Fraser filed criminal charges against Ramaphosa last week, who accuses him of concealing the theft of more than $4 million from the Phala Phala farm in February 2020. Ramaphosa has confirmed that the money he made selling animals was stolen while attending an AU summit in Ethiopia, but far less than Fraser claims and denied doing anything wrong.

Political tensions are mounting ahead of the ANC’s December conference in December. Ramaphosa is likely to retain his position as party leader while his allies continue to gain control of key party structures. Under ANC rules, whoever is elected party leader is also its presidential candidate.

Ramaphosa also came under fire in the run-up to the ANC’s previous national conference in December 2017, when his critics revealed he had had an extramarital affair Affair. Ramaphosa admitted the transgression and narrowly gained control of the party. He became president two months later when the ANC forced Jacob Zuma to resign to stem the loss of voter support.

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