Ractliffe found not guilty

2011-06-15 13:38

Johannesburg - Former Nelson Mandela Children's Fund trustee Jeremy Ractliffe was found not guilty on a charge of possession of uncut diamonds in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

"The court is [of the] opinion that the State has not proved its case. Mr Ractliffe, you are not guilty of this charge," Magistrate Renier Boshoff said.

International model Noami Campbell testified at The Hague war crimes tribunal last year that she thought it was former Liberian president Charles Taylor who had given her a bag of diamonds, which, it was argued were "blood diamonds".

Campbell said she was given the uncut diamonds after a charity fund-raiser in South Africa in 1997, also attended by Taylor.

She said she handed the stones to Ractliffe who was at the time chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

He said at the time he took and kept three small uncut diamonds so that Campbell would not get into trouble. Ractliffe handed the stones to the police on the same day that Campbell testified at the war crimes tribunal.

  • zulufox - 2011-06-15 13:40

    Good news!

      Wayne - 2011-06-15 14:03

      I'm pretty convinced you would support any criminal activity from your cadre's.

      the_truth - 2011-06-15 14:04

      Good news about what????????? The only reason why he is "innocent" is because he is a former Nelson Mandela Children's Fund trustee, anyone else would have been in jail by now.

      the_truth - 2011-06-15 14:17

      Are you family of the MADIBA criminal of Radcliffe?

      zulufox - 2011-06-15 15:14

      @ the_truth, and you base this on your undisputable evidence you collected over the years in your detective career...? bravo...

      TheUgly - 2011-06-15 16:03

      @zulufox: Where there's smoke there's fire.

  • Tolerant - 2011-06-15 13:43

    Was the evidence lost?

      jobho - 2011-06-15 14:31

      He was never guilty. He is not the one who had the 'stones'. Of course every one knows who had the stones.

  • DW - 2011-06-15 13:50

    Wierd ruling. The charge is possession of illegal diamonds. He had the diamonds. He handed them to the cops when Ms Campbell said that she had given them to him. What is he not guilty of? Possessing the diamonds or not knowing that he was breaking the law? I always thought that ignorance of the law was not an acceptable defence.

      gcr - 2011-06-15 13:55

      I view this in the same way as possession of dagga - holding uncut diamonds is illegal so surely the cops and the state could have proved that he had them. Smacks of political interference in this case

      Foofaraw - 2011-06-15 14:00

      DW, he was not acquitted because of ignorance, for one to be found guilty of a crime the state has to prove each and every element of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Nowhere in the article does it say he was acquitted because of ignorance he was found not guilty because the state did not prove their case.

      AndV - 2011-06-15 14:00

      I agree. No one in SA is allowed to hold uncut diamonds. He admit and the reason why he was inposession of the diamonds and handed them to the police, so what else must be proved here? Is he perhaps one of the "kaders" and the state deliberately present a flawed procecution....? I smell a rotten rat... What has happened to the integrity of our justice system? It is a shamefull day and questions the judicial instruments in SA once again.

  • Marcell - 2011-06-15 13:52

    It is not who you are, it is who you know! Quite strange. I thought he had it in his possession?

  • TheUgly - 2011-06-15 13:53

    Guess he got lucky this time.

  • Darkie_Ekasi - 2011-06-15 13:54

    I wish this Ractliffe dude was black and happened to belong the ANC. Feeling will be different!

  • Booswig Visagie - 2011-06-15 13:56

    "...not guilty on a charge of possession of uncut diamonds..." Huh? But he had the diamonds!? Only when Noami Campbell testified that she gave it to him did he come forward, admitting that he had kept it! How then is he cleared of the charge of possesion? Fcukng crazy!

  • kolobe - 2011-06-15 13:58

    then what was he doing with the diamonds?why didnt he disclose to the Fund that he had diamonds meant for them?doesnt make sense how this crook is getting away with theft of diamonds

      cliffarc - 2011-06-15 14:58

      - kolobe - surprised at your comment - okay I've got it now - the dude was a white.

      kolobe - 2011-06-15 15:39

      crime has no colour

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-06-15 14:06

    ANC ARE ABOVE THE LAW !!!!!!!! We are wasting our resources by taking any member of the ANC to a court of law in this country .

  • S Bouttell - 2011-06-15 14:10

    foregone conclusion. Naive perhaps, but not criminal.

      Marcell - 2011-06-15 14:12

      Believing that mandela is a saint is naive.

      watalife - 2011-06-15 14:24

      mandela has blood on his hands

      Wayne - 2011-06-15 14:55

      Mandela is still a better leader than Malema and Zuma combined.

      Matt - 2011-06-15 15:48

      You think it's bad here - overseas you DAREN'T say anything bad about Mandela - I'm surprised they haven't started a Mandela cult yet

  • JT - 2011-06-15 14:16

    When Nelson makes a phonecall, things tend to go his way.

      DeonL - 2011-06-15 15:05

      Not always, he could not convince the USA to stop the invasion of Iraq.

  • Nepster10 - 2011-06-15 14:19

    of course he is not guilty. did he know the diamonds were from Tailor. Naomi didn't tell hime that when he gave them to him. Neither did Naomi knew they were from Tailor, she suspected they were from Tailor. Thats why he was hesitant to sell them.

      DW - 2011-06-15 14:42

      Doesnt make any difference where they came from. It is illegal to possess uncut diamonds. That is the law. The state seem to have purposefully failed to present a case which could be won. This was a no brainer. He admitted that he had the diamonds and actually gave them to the police. What is there to prove?

      DeonL - 2011-06-15 15:07

      I agree with DW, possession of it is illegal wherever it comes from.

  • Grunk - 2011-06-15 14:20

    I should hope so too - he was only protecting a lot of high profile backs who really wouldn't have wanted the truth to come out about this lot of sheenanigans

  • jock van wyk - 2011-06-15 14:29

    what a farce

  • Mart - 2011-06-15 14:36

    This is ridiculous...the law is not your friend because it can be twisted and warped. Mere possession of illegal gems and gold should carry a mandatory 3 year prison sentence. Ratcliffe never denied the possession as far as I know, so he is guilty. Ignorance is no defense for someone of his 'standing'

      Grunk - 2011-06-15 14:45

      See my comment above. At whose party did this transgression take place?? Who bought a famous leader's ex-wife a house in Cape Town? And who she was married to....?? and who was later murdered by the Israeli Mafia on her way to court...?? ...and what illicit gem industry did the Israeli Mafia control?

  • Eleck - 2011-06-15 14:42

    Guy i,m stil shocked as well bt let us not accuse anc& that white dude was not sent by ANC

  • Eleck - 2011-06-15 14:42

    Guy i,m stil shocked as well bt let us not accuse anc& that white dude was not sent by ANC

  • Ann - 2011-06-15 14:49

    It's not what you know, but who you know isn't that right Mr Ractliffe? Any other person found in possession of uncut diamonds will face the full might of the law.

      DeonL - 2011-06-15 15:08

      Yes, some people are more equal than others.

  • Neutedop - 2011-06-15 15:05

    The diamonds was put in the safe of the Mandela Childrens Fund. He never used it for own gain. Come on people, get the facts before you jump the cart!

      Wayne - 2011-06-15 15:20

      Please share this info with us with valid references.

      DW - 2011-06-15 15:38

      The point is that he should have handed them to the police when he was given them, not waited for it to be revealed years later. He was in possession of them and handed them to the police. Those are the facts. No brainer and easy to prove. He should have been found guilty and then they could present mitigating circumstances. All are not equal before the law, it seems

  • raysmith - 2011-06-15 15:18

    Isn't South Africa the only country in the world where it is illegal to be in possession of uncut diamonds? If so - Why???

  • - 2011-06-15 15:25

    "the State has not proved its case" -- that's the conclusion of the magistrate so the case is closed. There was no declaration of innocence, just plain and simply that not enough evidence was presented to court.

  • J V - 2011-06-15 16:50

    I wonder where the diamonds are now? Probably "gone missing"

  • MacTheBoer - 2011-06-15 19:22


  • mandla yende - 2011-06-15 21:40

    Naomi campbell was supposed to hand over the diamonds to hotel security.She said she found them outside her hotel room. And Ratcliffe was supposed to refuse accepting the diamonds and let Naomi sort out her own mess. This Ratcliffe chap broke the law knowingly. Its sad that justice in South |africa favours the rich. Try the same stunt at any international airport and receive any contraband and see what wil happen to you. He had no crdible reason for receiving |naomi's diamonds

  • Fred - 2011-06-15 21:53

    This just goes to show that if you are an ANC crony you are untouchable.

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