12/02/2018 08:24 SAST | Updated 12/02/2018 08:24 SAST

State Faces R500m Lawsuit Over Sale Of TB-Infected Buffalo

A game breeder says his business was destroyed after the state knowingly sold him a TB-infected bull.

Cape buffalo bulls near Chitabe in the Okavango Delta in northern part of Botswana.
Wolfgang Kaehler via Getty Images
Cape buffalo bulls near Chitabe in the Okavango Delta in northern part of Botswana.

The government is facing a R500-million lawsuit from a game breeder who claims he was knowingly sold a TB-infected buffalo at a state auction, according to TimesLive. The man, Jaco Troskie, famously outbid Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on a R20-million buffalo in 2012.

According to TimesLive, Ramaphosa lost out on the bid to Troskie by just R1-million. He spent another R15-million on other game at the auction.

Troskie is reportedly one of three big game breeders suing the state for R1-billion after being sold TB-infected bulls.

According to TimesLive, Troskie bought the bull in 2011 for R6.9-million at a state auction. He bred it with 25 female buffalo. In 2014, he reportedly received notice from the Northern Cape veterinarian department saying the bull had TB.

The Northern Cape department of agriculture reportedly put his reserve under quarantine for three years, during which time the bull was diagnosed with TB and died. Troskie and other breeders obtained a court order which lifted the quarantine in 2017.

Troskie reportedly told TimesLive that the ordeal had destroyed him financially and ruined his businesses' reputation.

He alleged that government altered vet reports on the bull to cover up the real status of their health. Government officials declined to comment when contacted by TimesLive.

Meanwhile, the hefty prices in the game industry came under the spotlight in 2015 when a four-year-old sable antelope bull sold for R27-million, according to City Press. At the time, Troskie said the animal he had outbid Ramaphosa on made a 100% return on investment.

Ramaphosa is an avid breeder of rare game. He reportedly sold three white flanked impala for R27-million in 2013.