Left-wing political party, the EFF, has once again condemned the British monarchy’s continuous public display of the diamond taken from South Africa in 1907, said to be worth R6 billion, that adorns the royal crown. The party was responding to the display of the world’s biggest diamond, known as the Star of Africa, at the coronation of British monarch King Charles III in London on Saturday. The diamond was discovered in South Africa and handed over to the British Monarchy by former Prime Minister Louis Botha 116 years ago.
The king was officially crowned and enthroned at a glitzy ceremony attended by several heads of state and prominent guests including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US First Lady Jill Biden and European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, among others.
At least 12 African leaders attended the ceremony. President Cyril Ramaphosa was invited but skipped the coronation “due to the Burundi commitment”, according to Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya, adding that Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Minister Naledi Pandor had “been delegated to attend.” King Charles and Queen Camilla were transported in a golden carriage, with the Head of the Commonwealth’s crown spotting the same South African diamond, which sparked outrage from the EFF and others.
“The EFF reiterates its demand for the return of the stolen Star of Africa from the internationalist mafia, the British monarchy. The largest diamond, known as the Star of Africa is set in the British monarch’s sceptre and Imperial State Crown. “Today, 116 years later, the King of England, Charles III continues in the pompous steps of his predecessors flaunting the stolen Star of Africa at his coronation,” said EFF spokesperson Leigh-Ann Matthys.
“The Great Star of Afrika diamond was mined in 1905 in South Africa and is reportedly worth about R6 billion.”
According to the EFF, the diamond was a trade off between two forces that oppressed the majority of South Africans in the 20th century.
“Apartheid criminal Louis Botha handed over the Star of Africa to the ruthless British colonisers in 1907. Botha, was a well-known apartheid criminal who had no legitimacy to hand over the Star of Africa.
“The British monarchy had no dignified grounds to accept it, yet alone still parade it as British glory 116 years later. The British monarchy continues to live in the grandeur of African wealth – all this, while African children die of starvation,” She added.
“Charles III is firm on track of his predecessors as he parades the fruits of their brutal legacy of dehumanization of millions of people across the world. The attendance of the ANC Government at the coronation legitimatises the brutality of the British monarchy against the very people it is elected to serve.”
The EFF said it was shameful to see African leaders present at the British King’s coronation when his family had pillaged the continent for centuries. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Zambia leader Hakainde Hichilema, Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi, Eswatini King Mswati III and Liberian President George Weah were among the African leaders who attended King Charles’ coronation.
Others included President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, Togolese leader Faure Gnassingbe, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Joseph Dion, the Prime Minister of Cameroon.
“Instead of vigorously pursuing justice, the return of stolen jewels and reparations, (they are) scrambling for a bus ride and a back row seat at the coronation of the unrepentant Charles III.
“The presence of African leaders at the coronation is an endorsement of further oppression of Africans under the banner of trade. There will be no fair trade as long as justice, the return of stolen jewels and reparations are not pursued by African states. “It is only an EFF Government that will fearlessly pursue justice and reparations from the former heinous colonisers. The dignity of Africans will be restored in 2024 by the EFF Government,” Matthys said.
African People’s Convention leader Themba Godi called for South Africans to focus on repossessing the land that produced the diamond in question.
“Nobody can deny that England is today rich because of the sweat, toil and blood of Africans and their wealth. Our forebears have left evidence about how the land of the African people was historically stolen, and that should be our main obsession,” he said.
Godi added that unfortunately the South African government has locked itself in a corner, where it cannot afford to offend the British Monarch.
“As a party, we believe that South Africa should cut ties with the Commonwealth, which is headed by the king of England. If Africans want to be truly liberated, all African countries should withdraw from the Commonwealth scam,” said Godi.
The coronation was not without drama. King Charles embarked on a parade to Buckingham Palace with his wife Queen Camilla amid protests by a group of anti-Monarchy activists waving placards with the words “Not My King” and “Not in My Name” written on them. Heavily armed police quickly rounded up the protesters and took them into custody, sparking an outcry about respect for freedom of speech.