Carte Blanche seeks access to Aurora case

2011-08-17 11:17

Johannesburg - Current affairs programme Carte Blanche is applying to the North Gauteng High Court for access to the inquiry into Aurora Empowerment Systems' conduct while managing Pamodzi Gold's assets.

M-Net's Carte Blanche will apply for permission to record and broadcast the testimony of certain, not all, witnesses, according to its heads of argument filed in court.

The Master of the Court has ordered an inquiry into Aurora's management of the Grootvlei and Orkney gold mines in terms of sections 417 and 418 of the Companies Act 61 of 1973.

Carte Blanche initially wanted access to all proceedings, but this was opposed by the liquidators.

Carte Blanche in response had narrowed the scope of the access it was applying for, and now only wanted to record and broadcast the testimony of the directors of Aurora.

Politically connected

These include the politically connected Zondwa Mandela, grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, Khulubuse Zuma, President Jacob Zuma's nephew, and Michael Hulley, Zuma's former lawyer.

The Companies Act provides for inquiries of this nature to be private and confidential unless the Master of the Court decides otherwise, although in practice companies have to apply for the matter to be held behind closed doors.

"It is consistent with the constitutional value of openness and the media’s right to freedom of expression that secrecy not be the default position and that a fully motivated application for secrecy ought, instead, to be required," according to the heads of argument.

"It's not an all or nothing game: the relief Carte Blanche seeks at once vindicates the public's right to know, while preserving the integrity of the inquiry," said M-Net attorney Dario Milo of Webber Wentzel.

"This it does by undertaking not to broadcast the evidence of any of the directors of Aurora, before the others have completed their evidence.

"It is about the best way to weigh competing interests," he said in an e-mailed response to a question.

The relevant testimony which Carte Blanche wants to record was due to start next Tuesday, August 23.

Aurora, which was singled out as the preferred bidder for Pamodzi's mines when they went into liquidation in 2009, had since had its management contract cancelled and vacated the premises.

Aurora had been accused of the destruction of infrastructure at the mines and the loss of more than 5 300 jobs.

Trade union Solidarity had brought an application to have Aurora liquidated as part of its claim for R3.1m in unpaid wages to workers at the two mines.

In the meantime, China Africa Precious Metals has agreed to buy the Pamodzi Orkney gold mine for R150m subject to conditions, the mine's provisional liquidators and the company said two weeks ago.

  • Badballie - 2011-08-17 11:34

    good, I hope they get the permission, but on the broader subject we already know that no one will ever be required to pay back anything......other than the tax payer that is. I have a good mind to commit treason with a clear conscience.

      PunkBuster - 2011-08-17 14:13

      Give Dereck and the carte blanche gang a bells...

      Met - 2011-08-17 15:16

      The actions of these scum bags have already led to the suicide of affected mine workers who were no longer able to support their families

  • letsee - 2011-08-17 11:36

    I say that depending on who is involved Carte Blanche may or may have no access. Justice is just when selective and correctly applied as Malema says.

      Uthando - 2011-08-17 11:47

      Putting malema & 'justice' in the same sentence is an insult. Besides, this topic's got nothing to do with woodwork, so stick to the headline.

      Komasa - 2011-08-17 11:50

      The Companies Act dictates the provisions not JM nor culprits who are polictically connected, and that section of the companies act goes back to 1973. See the facts for what they are not how you choose to perceive them.

      daaivark - 2011-08-17 13:38

      Oh letsee, stop quoting the bonehead, please. No-one is interested in his immortal words.

  • MandlaSithole - 2011-08-17 11:39

    ANC's way of creating jobs I suppose. Lose 5,300 for 4 people. It makes sence in their calculations. Awesome!!/pages/Moeletsi-The-President/205134709529957

      Uthando - 2011-08-17 11:49

      Some said "Rest in peace common sense, you never stood a chance here in SA" - it just about sums up ANC, Aurora & many other sectors of government.

  • The_Realist - 2011-08-17 12:20

    Aurora is a preview of nationalization! - 2011-08-17 12:55

      yes yes yes....this is our mines in the future after nationalization.....if you cant see it, your a blind person.

  • Derek Watts - 2011-08-17 12:32

    Watch This Space!

      Komasa - 2011-08-17 12:47

      The one between your ears?

      Felix - 2011-08-17 12:49

      Expose them Derek!

      daaivark - 2011-08-17 13:39

      The space or the ears?

  • PB - 2011-08-17 12:33

    Oh my, is this not going to get interesting!!! Chances of the big shots being treated like us normal folk are not too big, but hey, we can dream.

  • Makenzi - 2011-08-17 12:34

    The power of investigative journalism. The public broadcaster should take notes from programmes like Carte Blanche and 3rd Degree

  • cava1 - 2011-08-17 12:39

    So the ANC cronies stuff up the management of a mine, then it goes to the Chinese. Is this the future we want for all our mines? Short terms gains for the select few with the long term result of our mining assets belonging to China, Africa's new imperialists.

      Bronni - 2011-08-17 14:32

      I would rather have our mines owned by the Chinese than the ANC!

  • TheWasp - 2011-08-17 12:48

    Funny how the name 'Zuma' keeps popping up here...... Hope Carte Blanche reveals a can of worms, smells of pure greed and corruption - as is normal in SA, it's daily news these days....

      The_Realist - 2011-08-17 13:04

      i would not be suprised if carte blanche get a call from the ayencee & told that this subject is off limits, which is exactly what happened when they were doing a piece on weenee mandela.

  • AndV - 2011-08-17 13:01

    Good on you CB!

  • Gibbonater - 2011-08-17 13:12

    Imagine if these were white bosses. Unions would be screaming like little children. But because they are balck and connected every one shuts up. But fat boy Zuma can drive around in flashy cars with not one bit of guilt or shame that his starving workers have not been paid. Viva empowerment viva.

  • Unskinny Bob - 2011-08-17 13:13

    Carte Blanche is going to expose the nationalisation roadmap.

  • Gibbonater - 2011-08-17 13:16

    And to think these halfwits buttwipes want to nationalise mines when here is a prime example of whatever they touch they stuff up. Useless idiots. It amazes me how quite the government and unions are on this issue. But dont worry, the Chinese (the new colonisers) are coming to take it all. The indigenous people will always be poor because of their own doing.

  • Cyberscep - 2011-08-17 13:22

    Nothing will happen to these thieving w*nkers - you just need to look at their surnames to know that. This is AFRICA after all! Hence I'm seriously thinking of legally changing my surname to that of a politically connected "comrade" who happened be around during the "struggle" and see how that influences my ailing business. Nothing ventured...

      The_Realist - 2011-08-17 13:31

      Cyberscep, you will also need to work on the tan!

  • daaivark - 2011-08-17 13:37

    Carte Blanche. Nice try, but you've got absolutely no chance. Too many HIGHLY CONNECTED people in the fecal custard there.

  • the mc - 2011-08-17 14:08

    oh no , not politics again...

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