NUM calls for criminal action against Aurora

2011-06-15 07:29

The National Union of Mineworkers called on the liquidators of the Pamodzi gold mines today to take criminal action against the politically-connected directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems.

“The NUM calls on the liquidators to take drastic measures either in the form of civil or criminal action, or both, against Aurora directors for leaving the mines in the mess they are now in,” said spokesman Lesiba Seshoka in a statement.

One of the joint liquidators, Johan Engelbrecht, said yesterday that there were “serious discrepancies” between the assets handed back to Aurora’s liquidators, and those given to Aurora when it made a R600 million bid for the mines.

“The union calls on the master (of the high) court to institute an investigation into the conduct of the two dismissed liquidators.

“The investigation must focus on all the Pamodzi assets including the one sold to Harmony in Free State where there has been allegations of improper conduct relating to fees charged,” said Seshoka.

The joint provisional liquidators, appointed to manage Pamodzi’s assets, recently cancelled their interim trading and contract mining agreement with Aurora.

As a result Aurora had to hand back the mines – the Orkney mine in North West and the Grootvlei mine in Springs, Gauteng – to the liquidators in the same condition it found them in.

The contract with Aurora was cancelled after two of the joint liquidators, Enver Motala and Gavin Gainsford, were removed from the case to preserve the “integrity of the process”, the justice ministry said at the time.

Pamodzi went into liquidation in 2009, after which the liquidators accepted Aurora’s R600 million bid for the mines.

Aurora Empowerment Systems, however, failed to come up with the money or pay the salaries of workers.

Aurora is headed by former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela, and President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma.

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