Urgent review of Zim diamonds

2009-01-11 11:00

Special Report

Mugabe slams Europe's 'homosexual nonsense'
Mugabe slams Europe's 'homosexual nonsense'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has lashed out at Europe's "homosexual nonsense" and has condemned the refusal of its leaders to accept his grip on power in his latest marathon tirade.

Johannesburg - The World Diamond Council (WDC) is demanding an urgent inquiry into the Zimbabwean diamond industry. This is amid the violence on that country's diamond fields, alleged diamond smuggling to countries like South Africa and the use of diamond dollars to prop up President Robert Mugabe's regime.

Zimbabwe could now be in danger of losing its status as a legal diamond dealer in terms of the United Nations (UN) Kimberley Process, which strongly campaigns against trade in conflict diamonds.

Zimbabwe's formal diamond industry is currently on its knees. The country produces less than 0.4% of the world's diamonds, but illegal exploitation of alluvial diamonds increased sharply in 2008.

This is fanning fears that Zimbabwe can no longer exercise effective control over its diamond production - a Kimberley requirement.

In an attempt to combat illegal trade, Zimbabwean security forces by the end of last year had driven 35 000 illegal diggers and dealers from the Chiadzwa diamond field near Mutare, the Zimbabwean police reported in December.

Human rights groups claimed that air force helicopters had opened fire on diggers, and the diamond newsletter Rapaport announced that about 200 people had died in the fray.

In response to questions from Sake24, Eli Izhakoff, chairperson of the WDC, declared in New York that the industry was "deeply concerned" about reports that diamond trade in Zimbabwe was no longer complying with the terms of the Kimberley process.

According to Izhakoff, a Kimberley Process team is drawing up a report on Zimbabwe to determine whether "serious non-compliance with the mandates of the Kimberley process" exists.

The WDC itself declared in January 2008 that it had received reports that illegal Zimbabwean diamonds were being smuggled to South Africa, and were being classified as legitimate and then exported.

"We request an urgent and immediate review of the (Zimbabwean) diamond office and its procedures."

Analysts say that even if Zimbabwean diamonds remain legitimate, prospective buyers should have sufficient information to be able to reject Zimbabwean stones.

Standards (in the Kimberley Process) must evolve so that people can inform themselves that diamond proceeds do not go to a regime committing massive human-rights atrocities, says Nicole Fritz of the Southern African Litigation Centre.

Prof Brian Raftopoulos, a Zimbabwean political analyst, reckons steps to curtail Zimbabwe's diamond trade should be seen as "another means of placing pressure on the political mediation process".

?Diamonds are clearly one of the last remaining sources of funds for a state that increasingly depends on its security forces for survival," he adds.

- For more business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.

- Sake


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24

  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.