With price tags of over R1 million on some of the livestock up for auction at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo on Saturday, it comes as no surprise that the game auction raked in more than R20 million.
According to EWN, more than 60 lots were auctioned off, among them Ankole cows and the embryos and straws of semen belonging to these prized animals.
The Ankole Society of South Africa led the auction and hosted a gala dinner for those who are part of the Anokole breeding society at the farm on Friday evening.
One Ankole cattle farmer, Chief Livhuwani Matsila, told SABC News the animals will range anywhere from R100,000 to R3 million on the South African market and in auctions.
According to Ramaphosa – who is said to have been in attendance at the auction – an estimated 16 farmers auctioned their livestock to the market.
“This will be an auction for cows and not wild animals. Sixteen breeders, including me, will be selling our own cattle at the auction. There is nothing more special about it, this is an auction that takes place all the time,” he said in an interview with Umhlobo Wenene on Youth Day.
Security at Phala Phala was tight as police in uniform and civilian clothes stood stationed outside the farm during the auction in order to keep eager journalists out.
News24 reports that journalists were ordered by the police to move away from the gate of the farm.
According to the auction house Veewinkel, the most expensive sale was of a bull, Cumulus, which was sold for R1.65 million.
EWN further reports that Cumulus does not belong to Ramaphosa but his heifer, Pata Pata, sold for R675,000.
Another bull named Dollar was auctioned off for an impressive R1 million and he comes with 1,000 semen straws.
The event comes amid a scandal over a robbery that took place at Ramaphosa’s farm and was allegedly later covered up.