Wednesday , February 1 2023
Fortune seekers have flocked to the village of KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith, in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa

Hundreds flock to South African village in ‘diamond rush’ after the discovery of unidentified stones

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The discovery of unidentified stones in a village in South Africa has prompted hundreds of fortune seekers to travel there in the hope that they will find diamonds.

More than 1,000 people have been digging near KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province since Saturday after a shepherd who dug up a stone spread the word.

The discovery was a life changer, said Mendo Sabelo, as he held a handful of tiny stones.

Fortune seekers flock to the village of KwaHlathi, outside Ladysmith, in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa

More than a 1,000 people have been digging at the site 

“This means our lives will change because no one had a proper job, I do odd jobs. When I returned home with them, (the family was) really overjoyed,” said the 27-year-old father-of-two – among the scores of diggers at the site.Skhumbuzo Mbhele, who is unemployed, agreed. He added: “I hadn’t seen or touched a diamond in my life. It’s my first time.”

A formal technical report will be issued in due course, it added.

However, the lack of an analysis of the stones has not deterred fortune seekers from flocking to the site.

Fortune seekers flocked to the village of KwaHlathi outside Ladysmith, in KwaZulu-Natal province
Villagers have described the discovery as life-changing

Long lines of parked cars on both sides of a gravel road could be seen just a few metres from the open field, with people digging through the soil with picks, shovels, and forks.

South Africa’s economy has long suffered from extremely high levels of unemployment and the coronavirus pandemic has made it worse.

Some people have started selling the stones, with the starting price ranging from 100 rand (£5) to 300 rand (£15).

The provincial government has since urged all those involved to leave the site to allow authorities to conduct a proper inspection, amid fears the people digging at the site could potentially be spreading COVID-19.


About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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