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WATCH | Inside Ramaphosa’s ‘rare game’ farm and previous controversy

06 June 2022 - 10:35
President Cyril Ramaphosa's game farming side hustle plays a central part in Arthur Fraser's accusations of criminal activity against him. Stock photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's game farming side hustle plays a central part in Arthur Fraser's accusations of criminal activity against him. Stock photo.
Image: Getty Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Bela-Bela, Limpopo, continues to make headlines after allegations of a multimillion-dollar robbery. 

The alleged robbery came to light after former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser opened a criminal case against Ramaphosa last week.

Fraser alleged the burglary was committed by criminals who conspired with Ramaphosa’s domestic worker.

He accused Ramaphosa of concealing the crime from police and laid complaints of defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping, interrogation and bribery.

“The details of the charges and the supporting evidence, including photographs, bank accounts, video footage and names, are contained in my statement filed with the Rosebank police station,” said Fraser.

Ramaphosa confirmed the robbery and said he was not involved in any criminal conduct. 

‘Rare game’ breeding farm

Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala is a “rare game breeder of the future” that contributes to the extension and deepening of SA’s conservation efforts, particularly the preservation of the country’s wildlife heritage.

The president is an avid and well-known game collector and breeder of some of the continent’s exotic wildlife such as disease-free buffalo, white impala, roan antelope, black kudu and sable antelope, which are found in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Phala Phala Wildlife is decidedly a rare game breeder of the future. We have focused on acquiring the best genetics in buffalo, white impala, sable antelope, roan antelope and golden oryx. The offspring of these well-chosen top quality animals are proof our targeted strategy of genetic choice is correct.

“The quality and dedication of our people ensure Phala Phala Wildlife is a professionally run undertaking where the utmost satisfaction of our customers is not compromised,” reads the farm’s website. 

Previous controversy

In 2020, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) in the US released a damning statement on Ramaphosa’s alleged involvement in the trophy hunting industry.

The group accused Ramaphosa of secretly profiting from animal cruelty at the Phala Phala game reserve.

At the time the presidency released a statement denying the allegations.

“Neither Phala Phala nor President Ramaphosa are engaged in illegal or unethical activities in any form,” it said. 

“Phala Phala Wildlife notes Peta US has previously made false allegations regarding the president’s interest in racing pigeon breeding.

“President Ramaphosa has been a pigeon breeder since the age of 16 and owned a flock of pigeons as a young man living in Soweto in the 1960s and 1970s.”

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