Aurora workers to receive food parcels

By Drum Digital
13 March 2012

Disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers would give food parcels to the Aurora mineworkers and their families, Cosatu North West said on Tuesday.

"The handing of food parcels will take place on Wednesday March 14 at 10am at shaft number four Pamodzi mines," said Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.

He said Gift of the Givers would hand over food, clothing, and shoes to mineworkers.

"Cosatu would once again like to express its gratitude to the Gift of the Givers foundation for their intervention during these trying times in the lives of the workers and their families."

On Monday Aurora mineworkers in the North West were told that the goldmine's owners had ignored a court order to pay them R4.3 million.

Nearly 700 miners gathered at the mine, which Aurora took over from liquidated Pamodzi Gold, where the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and Cosatu told them the money they had been awarded by a High Court order had not been paid.

Phetoe said the miners and their families were starving.

This was an international disaster, he said. The affected miners were from Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. Five miners were known to have committed suicide since the mine stopped operating, he said.

"Children have stopped going to school, women are leaving their husbands, people have nothing to eat."

The mine also continued to be stripped of assets, he said, with an electric cable worth R2.3 million disappearing, despite the mine being guarded.

"We believe the directors are still scrapping this mine and the money is going directly into their trust account."

Phetoe said Aurora could still be a productive mine creating hundreds of jobs, but had been "systematically dismantled".

"This is about individual enrichment," he said.

Aurora Empowerment Systems is owned by a company, headed by President Jacob Zuma's nephew, Khulubuse, and former president Nelson Mandela's grandson, Zondwa Mandela.

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