Call grows in South Africa seeking return of 500-carat diamond from UK

Call grows in South Africa seeking return of 500-carat diamond from UK

Cullinan l, which was cut from a larger diamond, was mined in South Africa in 1905.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has sparked a national debate in South Africa over the ownership of the largest known clear-cut diamond, the Great Star of Africa.

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Calls are now being made to the Royal Family to return the African nation’s precious diamond—also known as Cullinan l—which is currently mounted on a royal sceptre belonging to the Queen.

Since the death of the Queen, calls have intensified in the African nations, former colonies of the British Empire, seeking reparations and return their precious jewels that were looted during the British Empire’s rule, reports CNN.

Cullinan l, which was cut from a larger diamond, was mined in South Africa in 1905. The diamond in its natural form weighed around 3,106 carats, of which 500 carats were cut to make the Great Star of Africa diamond.

The diamond was presented to King Edward VII—the British monarch at the time—in 1907, two years after it was unearthed in a private mine in South Africa’s old Transvaal province, according to the Royal Collection Trust, which oversees the royal collection of the British royal family.

"The Cullinan Diamond must be returned to South Africa with immediate effect," activist Thanduxolo Sabelo told the Sunday Times newspaper.

"The minerals of our country and other countries continue to benefit Britain at the expense of our people,” he added.

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African Transformation Movement (ATM) MP Vuyo Zungula went a step further seeking a revamp of the constitution that de-links British Magna Carta and that South Africa should leave the Commonwealth.

“SA should now leave the Commonwealth, demand reparations for all the harm done by Britain, draft a new constitution based on the will of the people of SA not the British Magna Carta, and demand the return of all the gold, diamonds stolen by Britain,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Meanwhile, over 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Great Star of Africa to be returned and put in a South African museum, according to local media.

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