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Returning 'Star of Africa' Diamond Involves 'Catch-22 Situation', Activist Says

Returning 'Star of Africa' Diamond Involves 'Catch-22 Situation', Activist Says
In today’s AfroVerdict podcast episode, your host Viktor sits down with Mothusi Kamanga, a social justice activist and law graduate from the University of Johannesburg, to discuss the problem of repatriating objects of African historical significance.
The issue of returning ancient African artifacts back to the continent has once again drawn the world's attention, as a petition featured on Change.org to return the Cullinan Diamond to South Africa gathered over 8,000 signatures.
Mothusi Kamanga, an advocate of this petition has shared his take on the significance of the process of repatriating of African artifacts, and the meaning the Cullinan Diamond, also known as the "Star of Africa" has for the South African people.

"It is a sign of our pride. It is a sign of our heritage. It is a sign of our culture. It is a sign of our trauma. It is a sign of our exploitation. It is also a sign of our struggle. But in the midst of all of those negatives, it is also a sign of our times, of how far we have come," Mothusi says.

Mothusi also believes that the diamond could not have been handed over as a gift.

"...it's a catch-22 situation, where we cannot conclude that the people who gifted this diamond had the innate authority to actually own this diamond," he explains.

Mr Kamanga stresses that the repatriation of items of cultural value to African history "is part of the process towards the real goal. And Africa's true goal is to have everything that was illegally taken, returned, and to be able to own everything that is a result of our land."

"So if we say we want to fully repatriate, we are saying return all that has been taken, and once you've returned it, return what you still own that allows you to be economically powerful over us," Kamanga emphasizes.

For more details, check out the entire episode of the AfroVerdict podcast, brought to you by Sputnik Africa.
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