Takealot confirms it does not sell live sheep

South Africa’s biggest online retailer — Takealot — has confirmed that a purported listing showing live sheep being sold on its website was just a joke.

South African TikTok user @katfisshhh drew the attention of thousands of viewers on the platform after posting a video with what appeared to be a screenshot showing a listing for live sheep on Takealot.

She accompanied the video with a short commentary appearing to express surprise at the finding.

“My country…ai, guys…Imagine you can buy a whole ‘iigusha’ [the Xhosa word for sheep] on Takealot doing online shopping,” she said.

The screenshot of the “listing” showed it with the title “Livestock Sheep Qurbani Lambs, Live Weight 45kg to 50kg” and price of R3,950.

The word Qurbani means “sacrifice” and refers to the Muslim practice where a camel, cow, goat, or sheep is slaughtered for Eid al-Adha.

The seller of the sheep was called “Al Kharoof”, which could be a reference to الخروف, the Arabic word for sheep or lamb.

The “sheep” even had 65 reviews with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars and were supposedly eligible for Takealot’s Next Day shipping.

At the time of publication, katfisshhh’s post had attracted over 317,000 views, nearly 21,000 likes, 1,237 comments, and 1,925 bookmarks.

A screenshot showing the video of a listing for livestock sheep being sold on Takealot.

It even caught the attention of the online publication Briefly.co.za, which appeared to have been convinced by the screenshot’s authenticity.

Its article on the listing was titled “Woman finds Takealot listing of live sheep, TikTok video of farm animals for online shopping cracks SA up”.

The publication wrote that online users had countless jokes about Takealot’s “random” sheep offer but never delved into whether the listing was legitimate.

Numerous users commenting on the post were stunned and attempted to search for the listing on Takealot. They would not have much luck, however.

In response to some of the comments, Katfisssh admitted that the screenshot was not real and just a joke.

Takealot’s official response

While this and some anomalies in the screenshot were enough to convince MyBroadband that the post was a joke, we decided to get confirmation straight from the ewe’s mouth, just in case.

After all, keen online shoppers have previously found very odd items being sold on Takealot — including coffins, wedding dresses, ghillie suits, and lithographs signed by Nelson Mandela.

In this instance, however, our suspicions turned out to be correct.

“As South Africa’s leading online retailer, we don’t like to share sheepish responses, but we think the seller might have pulled the wool over your eyes,” Takealot told MyBroadband.

“We can confirm that the livestock item was, in fact, a truly South African joke, and was made up by the creator katfisshhh.”

On a more serious note, animal welfare organisations like the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) have taken issue with live animals being sold online in South Africa.

“The NSPCA cautions the public against buying pets online and at pet shops because by doing so you may be contributing to an industry where animals are made to suffer,” it previously stated on the issue.

“We remind the public that a pet is usually a lifelong commitment and should not be bought on impulse.”

However, the trading and auctioning of livestock for farms can benefit from online platforms, with a website like Digikraal being a prime example.

But it should be noted that the site only lets interested buyers get in contact with sellers, rather than facilitating the sale and transportation of the animals themselves.

In general, farmers want to see the livestock they buy for themselves or send a representative to check on the animals’ condition before proceeding with a purchase.

That would probably be sound practice for non-farming South Africans who happen to find livestock actually being sold online.


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Takealot confirms it does not sell live sheep