South Africa has been importing diamonds from the Marange region of Zimbabwe, bucking the rest of the world’s embargo on those goods, according to an NGO active in the Kimberley Process.
“It is pretty clear that South Africa is taking in those diamonds,” Alan Martin, research director for Partnership Africa Canada, told JCK.
Representatives of the South African government did not return repeated requests for comment from JCK.
For the past two years, the Kimberley Process has struggled to find consensus on an agreement that would let Marange stones be exported. Until the issue is settled, most governments have declined to take in those goods.
South Africa’s actions make it an outlier but they have a precedent: Earlier this year, the government’s State Diamond Trader was accused of allowing Marange diamonds into the country.
Martin says the industry and other governments need to take action.
“Nobody is calling South Africa on the carpet here,” he says. “Where is the follow-up? Where is the greater vigilance? Instead, the industry is just closing ranks and that’s disappointing.”