President Cyril Ramaphosa denied allegations made by international animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that he benefits from illegal hunting.
PETA accused Ramaphosa and his Limpopo game farm Phala Phala Wildlife of facilitating trophy hunting for profits.
PETA alleged Ramaphosa had a 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris which organised elephant hunts through Wayne Wagner Safaris.
PETA said its recorded conversations with some of Ramaphosa’s workers who admit he has an equal stake in all hunts conducted.
“In other words, far from ‘conserving’ wildlife, wild animals are bred specifically to be killed for trophies. PETA recorded conversations in which Ramaphosa’s managers admitted that he shares equally in the profits from all hunts conducted through Tsala and spoke of the importance of concealing his involvement,” it claimed.
In a statement, the Presidency denied the allegations but added Phala Phala undertakes annual culls of some animal species to avoid carrying excess numbers.
The presidency added that Phala Phala issued a notice to end its relationship with Tsala in the wake of allegations the hunting company facilitates the killing of threatened or protected species on other properties.