Aurora directors ‘will be charged’

2011-10-24 14:56

President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, and his fellow directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems will be charged with violating the Companies Act when the inquiry into the asset stripping of Pamodzi mines winds up its work in December.

The large-living Zuma and fellow Aurora directors Zondwa Mandela and Thulani Ngubane face criminal charges for failing to provide the Section?417 and 418 inquiry into their dealings with the Pamodzi estates with financial records and documents they agreed to provide.

The inquiry appointed by the Master of the High Court has been held in camera in Pretoria to protect witnesses called to give evidence about how more than R500 million in assets were stripped from the mines during Aurora’s tenure.

Consultants brought in by the Aurora bosses to run the Grootvlei and Orkney mines are also likely to be charged for failing to provide the inquiry with records.

Among the issues being probed is who was paid by Rand Refineries for several hundred kilograms of Pamodzi gold which was sold off.

Johan Engelbrecht, spokesperson for the joint provisional liquidators responsible for winding up the Pamodzi estate and running the inquiry, confirmed that none of the Aurora directors or consultants subpoenaed by the inquiry had submitted promised records.

He said the liquidators believed the failure to provide documents was another attempt by the Aurora team to delay the inquiry.

“None of the witnesses, despite the terms of the summons, produced or tendered any documents whatsoever to the commissioner of the inquiry,” said Engelbrecht.

He said oral evidence had been led to identify which documents the inquiry wanted from the Aurora team, and sittings were postponed to allow them time to collate and produce them. Engelbrecht said they and their attorney, Ahmed Amod, had undertaken to do so by September 15, but then reneged on their promise.

Engelbrecht said the Aurora directors and their consultants had “disregarded the due process of law in what can only be considered as an attempt to delay the conclusion of the Master’s investigation into the matter”.

While Engelbrecht said the liquidators “reserved their right’’ to lay criminal charges, sources close to the inquiry told City Press this would be done at the end of the inquiry to avoid the further delays criminal prosecution would cause.

The Aurora directors are not the only ones under fire over the liquidation. Enver Motala, the liquidator who was removed by the Master for lying about his criminal records and making secret loans to Aurora, is also facing possible perjury charges over his role in the Pamodzi liquidation.

More than 600 other liquidations handled by Motala in Pretoria, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg are now under review, with Master Lester Basson indicating that criminal charges will be laid if he had failed in his duties as a liquidator.

Attempts to get comment telephonically from Zuma and Ngubane were unsuccessful, while Mandela could not be reached.

Amod refused to comment on the failure to provide the documents but said they would be appearing before the inquiry again this week.

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