Scandal hits Aurora directors

2011-08-12 07:32

Financial irregularities of more than R20 million were allegedly committed when Aurora Empowerment Systems directors served on listed electronic chip maker Labat’s board.

Labat yesterday claimed it uncovered the irregularities whereby Aurora’s directors were allegedly going to use Labat as a vehicle to reverse-list on the JSE, Business Day reported today.

The directors include Zondwa Mandela, grandson of former president Nelson Mandela; and Khulubuse Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew.

Cheques for R9 million were signed by “unauthorised signatories” of the company to pay off Aurora’s debt, Labat said in a statement to the JSE according to the Business Day.

“These cheques were stopped at the bank. The company successfully defended this claim, has consulted with attorneys and is of the opinion that there is no liability in respect of this Aurora debt,” Labat reportedly said.

Aurora was being liquidated after trade union Solidarity’s R3.1 million claim in unpaid wages at the two mines they managed.

Labat also claimed that a $2 million investment, which an investor had been led to believe was to be invested in the company, was “diverted” to an Aurora account.

Labat said it never received the money and had no “obligation or liability” regarding the funds, the newspaper reported.

“The directors are informed that the investor is pursuing the matter against the third parties,” Labat said in a statement.

The company said it also reported these irregularities to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors, the JSE and “other relevant authorities”.

According to Business Day, no Aurora director was available for comment.

However, Aurora’s commercial director Thulani Ngubane was contacted, but said he was not aware of Labat’s claims before he put down the phone.

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