Mandela fund denies Campbell diamond gift

15:07, August 14, 2010      

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Following testimony by British model Naomi Campbell in The Hague, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) in South Africa said on Friday it has not received a donation of diamonds from her or anyone else, local media reported.

In a statement to the South African Press Association, the funds board of trustees in Johannesburg said it would have been improper to have done so.

Last week Campbell testified at the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor that said she handed diamonds to the fund's director Jeremy Ractliffe in 1997.

She said she had passed them on after receiving a late-night gift of dirty-looking stones following a dinner in South Africa. She had assumed the gift was from Taylor.

Prompted by the trial, Ractliffe handed the diamonds over to the South African police on Aug. 6.

On Friday, the board said it had entered into discussion with Ractliffe regarding his involvement in the matter.

"NMCF confirms that its financial and accounting systems are working effectively and efficiently, as attested by the fact that it has regularly received clean audits since inception, the latest being for the financial year ended March 31 2010," the board said.

Source: Xinhua

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