London: The former head of the Nelson Mandela Children`s Fund (NMCF), Jeremy Ractliffe, has resigned from the charity`s board after admitting he secretly kept ‘blood diamonds’ received from supermodel Naomi Campbell 13 years ago.
In the resignation letter, 74-year-old Ratcliffe has said that he recognized his failure to tell the charity about the diamonds which the supermodel said she gave to him as a donation to the fund. He said this was a wrong practice.
He also admitted that he had left himself open to prosecution. The possession of uncut diamonds is illegal in South Africa and if he had told the charity’s board, and its founder Nelson Mandela, they could have dealt with the gems in a better and lawful way, reports The Telegraph.
“Mr Ractliffe has apologised to the Chairperson, Chief Executive Officer, the board and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund for the anxiety and possible reputational risk his conduct may have caused,” a statement released by the fund read.
“For these reasons, he considers it correct and proper for him not to make himself available for re-election as a trustee at the forthcoming annual general meeting of NMCF on 27 August 2010. Ractliffe has also undertaken to resign as a board member of the USA affiliate of the NMCF with immediate effect,” the statement added.