Missing Diamonds 4 State Officials In The Dock

Patrick Seboko, a former boss at the department of economic development, and three other officials were in the dock Thursday for fraud involving missing diamonds worth nearly seven million rand.

The former head of department, 66-year-old Sebeko, appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court for the second consecutive day along with alleged accomplices Kuberin Packirisamy, Tebogo Basil Gaborone, and Lizette Wyngaard.

The fraud charges stem from the donor funding of more than R6.7 million received from the European Union during the 2010/2011 financial year.

The funds were intended for training students in cutting and polishing uncut (unpolished) diamonds.

Diamonds for training purposes were allegedly bought by the accused in March 2011 from a private entity without the necessary licences to do so.

It is believed that owing to the lack of relevant licences the diamonds were left in the care of the seller even after they had been paid for in full.

Matters came to a head after 40 students were enrolled to undergo a mining qualification course in cutting and polishing of diamonds facilitated by Kimberley Diamonds International Jewellery Academy (KIDJA).

It was, however, established that the diamonds the students were supposed to use for their course were missing.

The anomaly was uncovered in July 2012 during a random inspection by the Auditor General.

Sebeko, 60-year-old chief financial officer Packirisamy, 46-year-old senior manager project team Gaborone and 56-year-old chief director trade sector development Wyngaard were arrested and charged with fraud, contravening the Diamonds Act as well as contravening the Public Finance Management Act.

After their court appearance all the accused were released on R10 000 bail each.

Their matter was adjourned to 22 October 2021.