- Nine Ankole cattle bred at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Ntaba Nyoni farm in Mpumalanga went under the hammer last week.
- A mixture of bulls and cows fetched a total of R2.7 million, worth a quarter of the auction's total value.
- Described as the “best bull on offer”, Mufasa sold for R700,000.
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Several Ankole cattle bred by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Ntaba Nyoni Estates in eastern Mpumalanga recently fetched R2.7 million at auction, with five-year-old Mufasa listed as the “best bull on offer”.
Ramaphosa’s foray into Ankole breeding began back in 2004 when he travelled to Uganda to meet with President Yoweri Museveni. Due to disease control measures enforced by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ramaphosa used artificial insemination technology and embryo quarantine processes to buy and import 43 Ankole cows from Museveni.
In addition to their regal appearance, Ankole cattle produce rich milk and meat high in polyunsaturated fats and omega oils. These hardy cattle can live up to 30 years, relying on limited nutrients and water.
Today, Ramaphosa is the biggest Ankole farmer in South Africa. Ankole bred on the president’s 5,100-hectare Ntaba Nyoni farm located near the small town of eManzana often fetch top prices at auction. An Ankole bull, Maximus, with a right horn length of over 110cm sold for R640,000 in 2017.
Ramaphosa’s Ntaba Nyoni recently made headlines outside of the auction world due to the retrenchment of over 20 farm workers, which the president said was due to a foot-and-mouth outbreak which resulted in losses.
On Friday 30 April, Ramaphosa attended an auction at The Bull Ring, located long the N17 between Bethal and Ermelo in Mpumalanga. The National Ankole Auction featured 65 lots from several of the country’s top breeders. The auction sold R10.7 million worth of Ankole, with Ramaphosa’s herd of nine cattle accounting for a quarter of the auction’s total value.
There were also 12 Ankole embryos – direct descendants of Museveni’s Royal Ankole herd – sold by Full Blood Genetics in collaboration with Ntaba Nyoni Estates. These embryos fetched an additional R580,000 at the National Ankole Auction.
Mufasa (Ankole bull) – R700,000
With horns almost 90cm long – and a distance of more than 1.2 metres between the two tips – the five-year-old Mufasa was the highest selling Ankole of Ntaba Nyoni’s lot, fetching R700,000.
Lindi (pregnant Ankole cow) – R560,000
Proven to breed mottled genetics and mother of Ntaba Nyoni’s prized breeding bull Tshena, Lindi was auctioned as a pregnant cow and fetched R560,000. Lindi is carrying the offspring of Tshinakaho, which Ntaba Nyoni describes as the most “outstanding bull in the country”. Previous cows impregnated by Tshinakaho have sold for upwards of R600,000.
Lolo (Ankole cow) with calf – R400,000
Another cow which birthed Tshinakaho’s offspring, the five-year-old Lolo was sold for R400,000 with heifer calf.
Shakira (pregnant Ankole cow) with calf – R360,00
Another pregnant Ntaba Nyoni cow, which had already produced two calves within five years, was sold for R360,000.
Zaza (pregnant Ankole cow) – R300,000
The five-year-old mottled Ankole cow, pregnant to Tshena from the mottled dam line, fetched R300,000 at auction.
Masindi (Ankole cow) with calf – R220,000
The 23-year-old cow – “proof that Ankole continues to be productive well into their late 20s” – was sold for R220,000 with her mottled bull calf sired by Tshena. Masindi, the herd matriarch of Ntaba Nyoni Ankole, is described as having a “feminine face” and “deep bod”.
Ntaba Nyoni Ankole for under R100,000
Three Ntaba Nyoni Ankole sold for less than R100,000. Kwekwe, a young Anokle bull descended from a line that sired Maximus, sold for R60, 000. Pembani, another young bull, auctioned for R70,000 and a uniquely coloured bull, Amora, sold for R55,000.