Cyril Ramaphosa’s Ntaba Nyoni Cattle farm put 72 of the President of South Africa’s cows up for auction on Saturday, 5 March, including 16 of his prized Ankole cattle. According to reports, Ramaphosa’s brother in law, Patrice Motsepe, parted with a sizeable sum for four of the cows.
MOTSEPE SPLASHES CASH ON RAMAPHOSA’S COWS
According to promotional material for the annual auction, Ramaphosa put up 16 Ankole cattle on the auctioning block – 10 cows and six bulls.
TimesLive reports that Motsepe paid R4,7 million for four Ankole female cows. The most expensive of the lot cost him R2,1 million.
Other cattle on auction included 26 Boran (six bulls; 20 cows) and Bonsmara (10 bulls; 20 cows).
The Ankole breed is believed to have first been introduced to Uganda about 500 to 700 years ago and it is mostly found there and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and parts of Tanzania, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Animal Genetic Resources Information.
Ramaphosa first spotted the cattle on a trip to Uganda in 2004 and “fell in love.”
“They each had long, white, beautiful horns glinting in the African sun, and I suddenly became fixated and couldn’t stop looking at them. I was intrigued and in awe and fell in love with these creatures immediately,” wrote Ramaphosa in his photobook, Cattle of the Ages: Stories and Portraits of the Ankole Cattle of Southern Africa.
After the sighting, he began importing the cattle to South Africa and is now regarded as the biggest Ankole farmer in the country.