Oscar Pistorius and the diamonds

2014-09-14 15:00

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What exactly has Oscar Pistorius been doing during his numerous visits to Joburg’s Jewel City? ask Yolanda Barnard, Johan Eybers and Herman Scholtz

It is called Jewel City – the place where merchants, under strict security, trade in diamonds and gold.

And it’s here – the diamond city in the heart of Johannesburg – where Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius has been spotted regularly over the past few months.

That’s according to four independent sources, who say they have seen him there.

Visitors or buyers are not allowed into Jewel City in Main Street without a valid identity document and an appointment. The market contains about 300 shops, restaurants and coffee bars.

The security staff who guard the entrance like prison wardens say they see him regularly.

The last time Pistorius was seen on the athletics track was last year and he is no longer fit enough for athletics, but it seems he has not sat around at home waiting for the judge’s ruling.

Photographers have seen him in gym clothes, but it looks as if his gym sessions have ended.

By the time of going to press yesterday, Anneliese Burgess, spokesperson for the Pistorius family, had not responded to questions about whether Oscar was doing business in the diamond and gold industry.

It is not clear whether he is going to Jewel City for business or personal reasons.

City Press stablemate Rapport understands he has relations in the diamond industry.

Heno and Tom Kruger, apparently family members on his mother’s side, were involved in a diamond mine and therefore have a licence to deal in polished and rough diamonds.

Jewel City is the business address of Namakwa Diamonds, of which Tom was the founder. Tom, Heno and his other brother, Nico, at one time owned almost 16% of the shares in the company through the Kruger Family Foundation, but in 2012 they resigned as shareholders.

It is not known whether Oscar himself is registered as a diamond dealer with the Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator.

“You may not have a criminal record or be facing trial. Oscar would therefore not have been able to get a diamond trader’s licence in the past year,” a source said.

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