PETA Reveals Cyril Ramaphosa’s Disregard for Protected Species and Profiting From Their Deaths
Pretoria – PETA has exposed, through a secret investigation, that President Cyril Ramaphosa not only breeds and sells animals to be shot and killed from his Phala Phala wildlife breeding operation but also owns a stake in a hunting company called Tsala Hunting Safaris. That company conducts many of its hunts on a property called Diepdrift, which Ramaphosa owns and is quietly developing and expanding. There, as well as on partner properties, Tsala can arrange hunts of 42 different species, including the “Big Five”: leopards, elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, and buffaloes.
Ramaphosa and his employees have gone to great lengths to conceal his trophy hunting ties from the public. PETA U.S. recorded conversations in which his managers, Hendrik Von Wielligh and Rouan Nel, admit that he shares equally in the profits from all hunts conducted through Tsala and spoke of the importance of concealing his involvement. One 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. So … we gotta do it under a different name brand, where none of my name or his name are connected to it …. So that’s why we will keep always Phala Phala and Diepdrift and Tsala Safaris sort of separate from our Phala Phala brand.”
No permits to hunt leopards are issued by environmental authorities in South Africa, but Tsala still organises leopard hunts in Namibia and Mozambique.
“The secrecy surrounding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment in trophy hunting operations, fed by his breeding operation, speaks to the immorality and unsustainability of this colonial blood sport,” says PETA Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker. “South Africans should be aware that the president is directly profiting from the hunting of the country’s most revered and iconic species.”
In South Africa, animals – including elephants – can wander out of an unfenced national park where they’re protected and be shot as soon as they cross that invisible boundary. PETA is campaigning for all trophy hunting to be banned – including hunting of the “Big Five” – and calling for it to be stopped at least on properties around parks, where hunting and tourist guides communicate with each other in order to prevent tourists from seeing recent kills. It’s a total scam: tourists may think their money is helping animals, but the “protected” animals they saw on their safari might be killed the very next day.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that animals are nothing more than trophies or commodities.