Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
23 Sep 2021
2:35 pm

Northern Cape officials nabbed in dodgy diamond deal out on bail

Citizen Reporter

The department bought rough diamonds, which later went missing, from an unlicensed private entity.

Four officials of the Northern Cape department of economic development and tourism are facing charges of fraud and contravening the Diamonds and Public Finance Management acts.

Former head of department Patrick Seboko, chief financial officer Kuberin Packirisamy, senior project team manager Tebogo Basil Gaborone and trade and sector development chief director Lizette Wyngaard have appeared in the Kimberley Magistrates Court.

They have since been released on R10,000 bail each.

Dodgy EU donations

The department allegedly received donor funding from the European Union, of more than R6.7 million in the 2010-2011 financial year.

The funds were meant to train students to cut and polish rough diamonds.

The department allegedly bought diamonds from a private entity in March 2011.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the private entity did not have the necessary licences to buy rough diamonds.

The diamonds were stored at the private entity’s premises.

Missing diamonds

In July 2012, an inspection by the auditor-general revealed the diamonds had gone missing.

40 students were enrolled at the Kimberley Diamonds International Jewellery Academy in the same year to undergo a mining qualification course specialising in cutting and polishing diamonds. 

The case will continue on 22 October 2021.