By ‘Majirata Latela
As part of preparing for the opening up of diamond mining to (licensed) smallholder miners, the ministry of mining is already in the process of collecting diamonds from those illegally in possession of such stones.
Last year, the ministry announced plans to recoup illegal stones and auction them off in a prelude to issuing small scale diamond mining licenses.
The public relations officer of the ministry of mining, ‘Makananelo Motseko, disclosed that, to date, they have collected 70 stones from the members of the public who voluntarily handed them over.
“The turn-out is not as we had expected. People still seem very sceptical about coming forward for fear of being short-changed by government. We call on people to bring their stones now before it’s too late; they have up to the end of this month before the amnesty expires.
“After January 31 2021, people who will be found in illegal possession of diamonds will be deemed to be breaking the law. We will start the auctioning in February, and people who surrendered their diamonds will be invited to see how much their diamonds fetch. For every diamond sold, the government will take four percent.”