A cattle herder separates Nguni cow and calves. Picture: SOWETAN
A cattle herder separates Nguni cow and calves. Picture: SOWETAN

Prized cows worth millions of rands - bought with public money and meant to benefit emerging Eastern Cape farmers - were instead dished out to former president Jacob Zuma, ANC politicians and Eastern Cape royalty.

In an astonishing admission this week, former OR Tambo district municipality mayor Zoleka Capa - who is now chair of parliament's portfolio committee on social development and a close ally of Zuma - admitted she had given cows to the former president. She even confessed to taking cows for herself, but claimed this was so she could give them to community members.

The latest revelation follows a report in the Sunday Times in April about Zuma being given cattle worth R1.5m in 2016 from his political ally, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo. Zuma personally signed for the 25 Bonsmara cattle, which were also paid for with public money meant to be spent on emerging farmers.

In the latest scandal, the cattle were purchased in 2008 as part of an upliftment plan by the OR Tambo municipality, which splashed out R62m on a cluster of seven farms near Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal and a further R30m buying 1,800 cows and farming equipment.

Read the full Sunday Times story: Cattle diverted from the poor to Jacob Zuma for years