Claims of fraud and dark dealings spark legal drama.
As a senior government diamond valuator and as a “new South Africa” success story, Conrad Dintwe Benn could have expected some respect. Instead, he has been living a nightmare for more than a year, thanks not least to his employer, The South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, known in the trade simply as the “Diamond Regulator” – and to be distinguished from the State Diamond Trader (both entities are parastatals).
Benn is simultaneously in the crosshairs of the heavies at De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond miner. As one of the more enduring corporates, De Beers has for more than a century maintained a vice-like control of the global diamond market through its various sales entities, known loosely at times as the CSO, the Central Selling Organisation.
This strange and terrifying tale is told in papers filed in a case still pending in the South Gauteng High Court. The case was triggered by events that led to, first, a disciplinary hearing for Benn, then a Labour Court hearing and, finally, the currently pending high court case.