ATC080129: Report on Investigation to Export and Sale of Diamonds
First Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on the Investigation Relating to the Export and Sale of Diamonds in terms of the Diamonds Act, 1986, dated 29 January 2008:
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), having considered the following:
a) the Report of the Auditor-General on the financial statements of the South African Diamond Board for the year ended 31 March 2004;
b) progress reports on the validity and legality of the exemption of diamond exports from export levies;
c) information made available by De Beers Consolidated Mines Pty (Ltd);
d) legal inputs from certain state institutions, and
e) responses from the Auditor-General.
Reports as follows and recommends that:
1. Legal opinion
National Treasury obtain an independent, constitutional expert legal opinion from Senior Counsel to determine:
a) The intention of the legislature with regard to Section 59 of the Diamond Act, 1986.
b) The legality of the 3rd December 1992 Section 59 agreement between the SA Diamond Board and De Beers.
2. Confirmation of actual stock piling
a) The Department of Minerals and Energy and the SA Reserve Bank should compare data sets, made available to the Auditor-General, in order to determine the exact quantities and values of exports with regard to the export of diamonds for the period 3 December 1992 to 19 March 1998.
b) The Department of Minerals and Energy and National Treasury, with the assistance of the Auditor-General, form a task team to interrogate the De Beers London stockpile records in London for the period 3 December 1992 to 19 March 1998.
c) De Beers should, as agreed, make available to the Department of Minerals and Energy its local export data for the period 3 December 1992 to 19 March 1999.
d) All parties commit to co-operate in finalising this investigation.
The Committee further requests that National Treasury and the Department of Minerals and Energy each submit a progress report on the issues mentioned above within 60 days of the adoption of this report by National Assembly.
Report to be considered.
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