PETA exposes trophy hunting controversy in SA, implicates Ramaphosa

Posted on 23 November 2020

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of supplying animals from his Phala Phala wildlife breeding programme to the South African trophy hunting industry.

In the video, an elephant is shot several times by an American hunter.

The animal rights organisation posted a video to their social media platforms, outlining the trophy hunting of elephant, lions, rhinos and other game.

Ramaphosa is incriminated in an audio clipping in the video. He has denied the allegations levelled against him.

‘Following an undercover investigation, PETA has revealed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hidden connections and investments in the trophy hunting industry and obtained video footage of an American trophy hunter who repeatedly shoots a young elephant just outside Kruger National Park,’ said the non-profit in a statement.

‘PETA’s secret investigation has uncovered South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hidden connections and investments in the trophy hunting industry.

‘Footage reveals that Ramaphosa is quietly developing and expanding a trophy hunting property called Diepdrift—stocking it with animals from his own wildlife breeding operation, Phala Phala—and that he owns a 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris.

‘In other words, far from “conserving” wildlife, wild animals are bred specifically to be killed for trophies. PETA recorded conversations in which Ramaphosa’s managers admitted that he shares equally in the profits from all hunts conducted through Tsala and spoke of the importance of concealing his involvement.’

A Tsala representative told PETA’s investigator that the company could even make special arrangements to acquire rhinos to hunt.

Tsala conducts lion and elephant hunts on other properties in South Africa and also organises leopard hunts in Mozambique and Namibia, according to PETA.

In the voice note, a manager said: ‘We try to keep the president’s name actually out of the hunting thing because … of all the greenies …. So he wanna spare himself this, how can I say, bad publicity and all of that.’

PETA alleged that Ramaphosa’s Tsala Hunting Safari arranges elephant hunts through Wayne Wagner Safaris. These take place on properties within the Greater Kruger area.

In the video, an American trophy hunter shoots down an elephant that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The animal had wandered onto the hunting property from the Kruger National Park, making it ‘fair’ game.

The hunter shoots the elephant, causing it to drop it its knees and the animal suffers as the hunter continues to shoot. It is unknown how many shots were fired until the animal was killed.

Allegedly the hunter paid $30,000 (R460,917) for his trophy and an additional $20,000 (R307,278) to have the parts preserved for shipment back to the United States.

Watch the video here, viewer discretion is advised.

Ramaphosa has denied the allegations. He explained that Phala Phala and Tsala Safaris had a hunting agreement specifically for annual culling of impala, buffalo, kudu and wildebeest.

‘Culling is an established wildlife management tool practiced around the globe, including in state-run conservation reserves.

‘Phala Phala entered into an agreement with Tsala Hunting Safaris to hunt the aforementioned game that would in any event have been culled.

The presidency continued that the seriousness of the allegations has resulted in Phala Phala terminating its hunting arrangement with Tsala Safaris.

‘This decision is in line with Phala Phala’s commitment to sound conservation principles, and its demonstrable compliance with ethical and lawful wildlife management standards, statement added.’

PETA has launched a petition to urge UPS to ban the shipping of hunting trophies. Click here to add your name.

Picture: Screenshot from video


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