The Democratic Alliance (DA) has enquired of the State Diamond Trader (SDT) on who its biggest buyers are since 2012 and to avail, said DA shadow Minister of Mineral Resources James Lorimer.The SDT, whose main business is to buy and sell rough diamonds in order to promote equitable access to and beneficiation of diamond resources, has refused to answer a DA question for almost two years, said the DA’s Lorimer in a statement last week.
Formal requestThe DA and Lorimer formerly asked the SDT CEO Futhi Zikalala on 24 October 2012 who the biggest buyers of diamonds from the SDT were, including company names and volumes. Lorimer said that Zikalala undertook to send the information following the request. “A reply in writing was subsequently received, but ignored the request to provide names of companies,” stated Lorimer.
Portfolio Committee meetingWhen the SDT appeared before the portfolio committee again on October 22, the DA reiterated its request.
The State Diamond Trader (SDT) has refused to answer a DA question for almost two years, said Lorimer.“This was not forthcoming and ANC members on the committee declared they believed the SDT should be given another chance to address the issue,” Lorimer said, adding that he, along with his colleague Hendrik Schmidt had then left the meeting this October as it believed the SDT’s refusal to disclose its activities was in effect misleading Parliament.