Gift of the Givers to give aid to starving Aurora miners

2012-03-13 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG-BASED charity organisation Gift of the Givers will today be providing food parcels to more than 700 starving Aurora mineworkers in the North West.

Gift of the Givers spokesperson Aladin Fayed said they were approached by the miners to help with basic food.

The miners were told by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday that the gold mine’s owners had ignored a court order to pay them R4,3 million.

Aurora — which is owned by, among others, president Jacob Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma and former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela — took over the mine ownership from liquidated Pamodzi Gold.

Fayed said they will meet with Cosatu today to assess the scale of need among the starving miners and about 1 000 basic food parcels will be distributed.

Cosatu provincial secretary Solly Nani Phetoe said the miners and their families were starving. He said this was an international disaster that affected miners 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 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” because of “individual enrichment”.

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