Mandela Nonprofit Trustee Resigns Over Diamond Ties
A trustee of Nelson Mandela‘s nonprofit has relinquished his post amid a continued investigation surrounding model and anger management alum Naomi Campbell and some supposed blood diamonds. Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Trustee Jeremy Ractliffe has chosen to the plead the fifth in a case that involves him, Campbell, Mandela and former Liberian leader Charles G. Taylor.
Taylor is in the middle of defending his supposed innocence amid allegations that he was involved with a number of killings, rapes, abductions and the forcing of children to become soldiers. He is also denying charges that he traded guns for diamonds, a move that would have contributed to the massive war in neighboring Sierre Leone that took hundreds of thousands of lives.
According to Campbell’s testimony, at a Mandela-hosted event that Taylor also attended, she received a baggie of “dirty-looking stones” from two unidentified men and then passed the diamonds on to the now silent Ractliffe.
Ractliffe claims he did not declare the diamonds in connection with the nonprofit for fear of tainting its reputation, but did look after them for about 13 years before turning them over the police. If they were unlicensed, this is a crime in South Africa, though the police say he has not yet been charged with anything.
Now, two questions come to mind. 1) How does a jetsetting model not know what diamonds look like? And, when she figured out they were diamonds, why claim to think they’d help the nonprofit of a former South African president trying to maintain a clean reputation?
2) How do most Americans think their engagement rings are sourced? Through sustainable companies mining in Canada? Be real people, most diamonds are blood diamonds. That said, there is a need to get to the bottom or this. I’m sure when I send my unborn children to college, the UN and The court in The Hague will have figured this out.