Shabangu calls for sanctions on Zim diamonds to be lifted

2012-11-13 11:28

Victoria Falls – South Africa and Namibia have called for an end to sanctions on Zimbabwean diamonds imposed after human rights groups said hundreds of diggers were killed by the police and army, and sale proceeds were being channelled to the military.

Speaking at the inaugural Zimbabwe diamond conference yesterday, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said South Africa was committed to lifting the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Namibian Mines Minister Isak Katali also called at the conference for an end to sanctions on the Zimbabwe gem trade.

“The discovery of diamonds in Zimbabwe has been a thorn in the flesh to those that have issues with Zimbabwe to exercise its sovereignty over its minerals and other natural wealth,” Katali said.

“They tried to block the export of diamonds and vilify this country and its diamond sector.”

Meanwhile, former president Thabo Mbeki said Zimbabwean natural resources should benefit locals and not a group of elites.

In his address at the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference yesterday, where he was the guest speaker, Mbeki said the country’s political leadership have to ensure that the benefits cascade to the masses.

“All the parties in the global political agreement must absolutely ensure that the diamond mining industry is not governed by a predatory elite which uses its access to state power to enrich itself, against the interests of the people as a whole, acting in collusion with the mining companies,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s mines minister told the same conference that at least $30 million is trapped by international institutions under the anti-Marange diamond campaign.

As a result, the country’s mines minister said, there is no need for full disclosure in Zimbabwe’s ongoing mining transparency initiative.

“How can you be transparent when there are hyenas chasing after you? They want to know who is buying your diamonds, which country they are coming from, which bank they are using and which flight they are on.”

Chaim Even-Zohar, the president of Tel Aviv-based diamond consulting service Tacy Limited, told the conference Zimbabwe is earning 75% of potential diamond value due to economic sanctions as it cannot get the best market prices.

Zohar added Zimbabwe has potential to produce 8 to 10% of global production but is hamstrung by restrictions, which has seen it selling the gems at a discount.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas 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 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.