Residents of KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith, in KwaZulu-Natal, have been celebrating as they believe they have struck it rich with an apparent discovery of diamonds.
In videos and pictures that have been circulating on social media, community members can be seen celebrating the discovery of diamonds as they believe they have struck it rich.
In one video, one resident calls back home and tells his family to burn everything as they can start over now with his new-found wealth.
“Burn everything, we’re going to eat in Dubai now,” he jokingly says in Zulu.
The discovery of the diamonds has sparked a debate on social media on whether the biggest diamond is about to be found in KwaZulu-Natal, while others say what residents found are not diamonds.
KZN PREMIER CALLS FOR ORDER AMID REPORTS OF A “DIAMOND RUSH” IN KWAHLATHI NEAR LADYSMITH
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has noted with concern the reports of illegal mining activity taking place at KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) June 13, 2021
Diamonds discovery ‘deeply concerning’
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala has called for calm in KwaHlathi where people have gathered to mine what they believe to be diamonds.
The department of mineral resources and energy (DMRE) will dispatch teams to the site to conduct an inspection. Another team from Mintek (the council for Mineral Technology) and the Council for Geoscience (GCS), that will include a geologist and will focus on establishing whether the community has discovered diamonds.
Zikalala said the activities in the community were concerning as they could result in stampede as people continue to flood the site.
“We are worried that if not brought under control, the situation could result in chaos and a possible stampede. We call for order and calm and urge all those involved to cease their operations and vacate the site so as to allow the DMRE to conduct a proper inspection of the site and of what has been discovered there,” said Zikalala.
“It is also very concerning that in the wake of a looming third wave we have so many people gathered in one spot, not maintaining social distancing and also not wearing masks. This could prove to be a super-spreader and might put at risk many people including those who are not part of the mining.”
He said the provincial government would work with the South African Police Service, traditional leadership and the local and district municipalities to bring calm to the area.