People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has stuck to its guns in alleging that President Cyril Ramaphosa secretly benefits from trophy hunting.
On Friday, Peta said that it had found that Ramaphosa secretly profited from trophy hunting through hunting company Tsala Hunting Safaris.
Peta also accused Ramaphosa of unethical wildlife breeding and management activities related to pigeon racing.
The Presidency denied the allegations, saying neither him nor Phala Phala Wildlife had a stake in the trophy hunting industry or in Tsala Hunting Safaris.
Peta, a non-profit American animal rights organisation, said on Monday: “Ramaphosa’s instructions to give ‘notice to Tsala Hunting Safaris to terminate the hunting arrangement with them’ because of the allegations that Tsala engages in the hunting of protected or threatened species [such as white rhinos] is a tacit confirmation of one of Peta’s claims.”
“We hope this is just the first step Ramaphosa takes in divesting himself of all trophy hunting operations,” they added.
On Friday, Ramaphosa and Phala Phala Wildlife said: “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 ‘70s.”
The Presidency went on to add: “The president has been engaging with breeders in Soweto and the Western Cape about the development of the industry, as well as on the increased participation of young, black entrants in pigeon racing.
“Pigeon racing has been practised since the 1800s and is a sport with a substantial global following.
“That Peta US continues to use its platforms to disseminate false information regarding Phala Phala Wildlife and president Ramaphosa is wholly regrettable.
Peta is the largest animal rights organisation in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters.