This comes after the Presidency released a statement refuting allegations that trophy hunting took place at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s privately owned wildlife farm.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s denial of trophy hunting at his wildlife farm, Phala Phala Wildlife, has been labelled as “embarrassing” by international animal rights organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
This comes after the Presidency released a statement refuting allegations that trophy hunting took place at the president’s privately owned wildlife farm.
In an official statement, the Presidency on Sunday said it noted the statement by Peta in which “a number of unfounded allegations against Phala Phala and President Ramaphosa” were made.
“The allegations are patently false and are refuted in full. Neither Phala Phala nor President Ramaphosa is engaged in illegal or unethical activities in any form.
“In the light of allegations that Tsala engages in the hunting of threatened or protected species on other properties, Phala Phala has given notice to Tsala Safaris to terminate the hunting arrangement,” an extract from the statement read.
The Presidency denied that either the president or Phala Phala – whose business is breeding game – have a stake in the trophy hunting industry or in Tsala Hunting Safaris.
“Tsala are privately-owned hunting outfitters. Phala Phala has been in operation since 2010 and is run in accordance with the strictest conservation and wildlife management principles. Phala Phala’s wildlife breeding and management activities comply with best ethical and lawful practice in the sector,” the statement read.
“Phala Phala entered into an agreement with Tsala Hunting Safaris to hunt the aforementioned game that would in any event have been culled. In the light of allegations that Tsala engages in the hunting of threatened or protected species on other properties, Phala Phala has given notice to Tsala Safaris to terminate the hunting arrangement with them,” the statement read.
Peta senior vice-president of international campaigns Jason Baker said Ramaphosa’s “embarrassing denial of his secret financial interests in trophy hunting has dug him into a deeper hole”.
“It seems the president didn’t listen to the undercover recordings Peta released of his business partners unequivocally detailing the president’s 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris and the development of his own hunting property, Diepdrift, to stock with animals bred at Phala Phala.
“These disclosures echo what Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala property manager told Peta’s investigator about how the president attempts to keep his involvement in the trophy hunting and pigeon-racing industries hidden. 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 is a tacit confirmation of one of Peta’s claims,” said Baker.
Further enquiries to the Presidency were not answered by deadline.