Even as controversy swirls about the theft of money from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s game farm, 26 animals were sold for some R6.8 million at an auction on Saturday.
Ramaphosa in June was accused by South Africa’s former spy chief Arthur Fraser of covering up the theft in 2020 of foreign exchange from the sale of animals at the Phala Phala Wildlife farm.
The money was said to be hidden inside furniture at the ranch, about two hours north of the capital, Pretoria.
Ramaphosa has denied wrongdoing and said he’s cooperating with investigators.
“It has been important that I should give space, stand back and allow the various agencies to deal with these matters as thoroughly as I believe they are doing,” Ramaphosa said in an address to lawmakers on Tuesday.
“While there are clearly individuals and organizations that seek some mileage out of this issue, the most appropriate response from my side is for the law to take its course.”
Phala Phala’s biggest single sale on Saturday was of a buffalo bull, given the name of Pink 37, which fetched 1.8 million rand. In total, nine buffaloes were sold, according to the auction house Wildswinkel.
Other animals sold included four rare Ankole cattle as well as impala, sable, roan and one Golden Oryx.