More than 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for one of the late Queen’s diamonds to be returned to South Africa, where it was mined.
Known as both the Great Star of Africa and Cullinan I, the world’s largest known clear-cut diamond sits on the end of the Sovereign’s Sceptre, which is part of the Crown Jewels.
It’s part of a bigger diamond that was gifted to the Royal Family after it was found in 1905 in South Africa, and many South Africans feel it should be put on show in one of the country’s museums.
At the time the diamond was taken from South Africa, the country was under British rule, and after Her Majesty’s passing this month, many have questioned whether it’s fair the jewel remains in the Royal Family’s possession.
Calling for the jewel’s return, Vuyo Zungula, MP of African Transformation Movement (ATM), also said South Africa should sever its Commonwealth ties.
As reported by Times Live, Zungula said: “SA should now leave the Commonwealth, demand reparations for all the harm done by Britain, draft a new constitution based on the will of the people of SA not the British Magna Carta, and demand the return of all the gold, diamonds stolen by Britain.”
Echoing Zungula’s sentiments, former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo said: “The minerals of our country and other countries continue to benefit Britain at the expense of our people.
“We remain in deep, shameful poverty, we remain with mass unemployment and rising levels of crime due to the oppression and devastation caused by her and her forefathers.
“The Cullinan Diamond must be returned to SA with immediate effect.”
When South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa shared his condolences for the Queen on Twitter following her death, many social media users used it as an opportunity to call for the diamond’s return.
One person wrote: “Did you ask her when would she bring back the South African diamond?” while another added: “First call of duty return South Africa’s diamond!”
Other comments included: “Did you ask HM Queen about the gold that was forcefully taken away from South Africa in the early 1900s?” and “Now that she’s dead, can you send friends to go get our diamond?”
Ramaphosa’s full message read: “I met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the last Commonwealth meeting which was held in London in 2018 where we spent some time looking at letters that former President Nelson Mandela sent to the Queen, and we reminisced about the great stateman that Her Majesty so respected.”