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Video: South African President Exposed as Knee-Deep in Trophy Hunting Profits

November 23, 2020 Visit Africa / Seychelles No Comments Email Email

PETA US has uncovered South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hidden connections to and investments in the trophy hunting industry. The revelations come after the group’s release of video footage of an American tourist who ineptly shoots and kills a young elephant on a nature reserve just outside Kruger National Park.

PETA US recordings of President Ramaphosa’s managers reveal that he’s quietly developing and expanding a trophy hunting property called Diepdrift – stocking it with animals from his personal wildlife breeding operation, Phala Phala – and that he owns a 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris. The group recorded conversations in which Ramaphosa’s property managers and business partners 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 …. So [Ramaphosa] wanna spare himself this, how can I say, bad publicity and all of that. … We gotta do it under a different brand, where none of my name or his name are connected to it.”

“President Ramaphosa is lining his pockets through the cold-blooded murder of gentle, curious elephants and other wild animals, who deserve protection, not exploitation,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “The majority of South Africans will not applaud their president for auctioning off the country’s wildlife to overseas trophy hunters for personal profit.”

The video shows an elephant peacefully wandering out of the bush as an American trophy hunter and his guides lie in wait. The American then shoots the elephant in the head and watches as he falls to his knees. The suffering animal looks at the shooting party as the man – who paid US$30,000 (AU$41,000) to kill him – is being given instructions from his guides on how to shoot more accurately, and finally shoots him four more times, causing him to rumble in distress or to warn others.

The shooter later paid nearly US$20,000 (AU$27,000) to have the elephant’s body parts preserved for shipment to the United States, prompting PETA US to renew its call for UPS to enact a ban on transporting wildlife trophies. More than 40 airlines have banned the transport of these gruesome trophies since 2015. UPS has already banned the transport of shark fins, certain live animals, and ivory – but is still enabling the trophy hunting industry.

After hearing from PETA US that the American hunter was considering using the airline to transport elephant tusks and other body parts, El Al Israel Airlines has changed its policy and now bans the transport of trophy hunting body parts.

Broadcast-quality video footage is available here, and photos are available here. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist view that animals are nothing more than trophies or commodities. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.

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