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Ramaphosa scores in game auction as he mulls farm seizures

Ramaphosa sold $1.3 million worth of animals from his expansive game and cattle operations during an auction.
An auction near the northern town of Bela Bela by a group of six farms raised about R99 million on Saturday through the sale of animals. Picture: Bloomberg

Even as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s July announcement that the ruling party will push ahead with plans to expropriate land without compensation pushes down the rand and damages investor sentiment, he sold $1.3 million worth of animals from his expansive game and cattle operations.

An auction near the northern South African town of Bela Bela on Saturday by a group of six farms known collectively as Stud Game Breeders raised about R99 million ($6.7 million) through the sale of animals including Cape buffaloes and kudu antelope. Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala Wildlife farm is part of the group and sold animals for a total of R19.7 million.

While Ramaphosa’s African National Congress embraces calls to change the constitution to allow the state to expropriate land without paying for it, Ramaphosa told 400 of the world’s biggest game buyers that the government would implement its eventual land policy responsibly when he spoke to them the night before the auction, people who were at the event said, declining to be identified. Attendees, some of whom arrived in private jets and helicopters, are among the nation’s biggest landholders.

“It’s something that invokes contradictory feelings for others in that this man is very rich,” but he is “advocating for land redistribution,” said Somadoda Fikeni, a politics professor at the University of South Africa in the capital, Pretoria. “Many commercial white farmers know it’s untenable” to not deal with land reform, and “they would be hoping that at least he has an ear with them,” he said.

While the ANC says the change is needed to address skewed land ownership patterns built up during white minority rule, critics including the opposition say the party is trying to deflect attention from the government’s failure to properly manage earlier land-reform efforts as its heads toward elections next year.

The president has said his government is considering suggestions where land could be taken without compensation when it is unused, held purely for speculative reasons and where occupiers have strong historical rights and current owners do not occupy or use it. “Land reform in South Africa is a moral, social and economic imperative,” he said in an column published by the Financial Times.

Oryx, cattle

Ramaphosa didn’t witness the sale of his 15 lots that included sable antelope, oryx and his rare Ugandan Ankole cattle, as he left on an official trip to China. People attending the auction, the biggest of its kind this year, said there had been talk about Ramaphosa’s lots being boycotted because of the ruling party’s expropriation plans. This didn’t come to pass, with many of his animals commanding premium prices, said Brandon Leer, an independent auctioneer who ran the event.

The president’s biggest earner was Nduvo, a four-year-old buffalo bull bought for R4.1 million.

The rest of the farms that make up Stud Game Breeders group are owned by white men. This includes Nyumbu Game, which belongs to Norman Adami, the former chairman of SABMiller’s local unit. Adami sold about R42 million of game including Umfula, a buffalo bull that fetched R7.5 million, the day’s highest price.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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Champagne socialist

I would quote George Orwell, but I fear it will cause an outcry by people who have not read it.

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.”

What are we going to eat if Mr. Ramaphosa is selling his game?

I though we were going to get free biltong after the land grabs?

“The rest of the farms that make up Stud Game Breeders group are owned by white men.”

What is the relevance of this statement?

“Ramaphosa told 400 of the world’s biggest game buyers that the government would implement its eventual land policy responsibly when he spoke to them the night before the auction,”

Ok so you are relying on hearsay from a unknown source and yet Ramaphosa has laid out those exactly plans on a number of public forums including his own article. Seems like manipulative or just poor journalism to quote this as if he said this in secret to a group at a game auction.

Bizarre and poor.

Why buy equity, rather buy buffalo bulls and kudu antelope.

“People attending the auction, the biggest of its kind this year, said there had been talk about Ramaphosa’s lots being boycotted because of the ruling party’s expropriation plans”

I would think people outside of this circle (of buyers and sellers with their mean) are the ones that would suggest boycotting his lot. There are reasons why the okes bought his lot and that reason is the reason why they are where they are in (life) the first place.

Respect. Having a lot for men struggling to make it, after times named struggle. Feeling embarrassed when passing informal living camps. Full of past struggle people who obvious didn’t make it. Happy they are cared for. When lining up for the free money [ land ] to. Life can be so simple with the right ones in charge.

You really could not make this up!

and someone mentioned priviliges of the past forgetting about todays priviliges…it is never equal..

Well one positive to come out of this is that at least our President has confirmed he is a Capitalist and Conservationist!.

End of comments.

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