Former Mandela charity chief receieved uncut diamonds

Jeremy Ractliffe says he held on to the alleged ’blood diamonds’ to protect reputations

Jeremy Ractliffe, the former head of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, has admitted receiving alleged “blood diamonds” from British supermodel Naomi Campbell. The 74-year-old said he personally kept three small uncut stones to protect the reputation of Campbell, Mandela and the fund, of which he remains a trustee. In a statement, Ractliffe said: “Naomi suggested they could be of some benefit to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF), but I told her I would not involve the NMCF in anything that could possibly be illegal.” He has now handed the alleged diamonds to the South African authorities, and said he would be willing to testify at the war crimes trial of the former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who allegedly gave them to Campbell.

The Guardian