Aurora miner commits suicide

2011-04-08 15:34

Johannesburg - A Pamodzi Gold miner who was owed R170 000 in outstanding wages by Aurora Empowerment Systems has committed suicide, the Solidarity trade union said on Friday.

Marius Ferreira, 52, died last week after drinking ant poison. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis said the non-payment of Ferreira's salary caused him to lose his house, two cars, his house contents, his retirement annuities and his medical aid.

"Marius Ferreira... and his family had lost everything due to the non-payment of his salary. The trade union will claim Ferreira's salary arrears for his widow," said Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis.

"Marius, who was a fitter, was one of the only ten employees left over from the 5 200 employees who started working for Aurora in 2009. According to his wife, Susan, the fact the he could no longer provide for his family took its toll and he ended his life by drinking ant poison," said Du Plessis.

Ferreira died last Tuesday and was laid to rest at the weekend.

Du Plessis said Solidarity had appointed a counsellor to support Aurora employees after the trade union "heard of at least another three suicide threats and a person's threat to commit a family murder".

He said Solidarity had already sent Aurora two sets of letters of demand for arrears in salaries exceeding R4.6m.

"We buried Marius Ferreira last weekend, but his claim will not be buried in the Aurora debacle. We will continue to fight for everyone who needs our help," said Du Plessis.

Earlier this week, one of the joint Pamodzi Gold liquidators, Enver Motala, said Aurora had been warned to produce proof of irreversible financial commitment by a Chinese company or face the cancellation of their bid for Pamodzi by the end of May.

Last year, Aurora announced it had secured enough funding to buy Pamodzi's Grootvlei (Springs) and Orkney mines, which at that stage employed some 5 000 workers, from its liquidators.

But red tape and empty promises left the miners unpaid, while operations at the mines had ground to a halt.

  • BilboBaggins - 2011-04-08 15:46

    And Aurora's boss drives how many luxury vehicles again? How come everyone is so quiet with the usual comments? Another fat-cat story with an unhappy ending for the victims.

      lean - 2011-04-09 08:28

      Zuma and Mandela families....This innocent blood will be on all your hands. The wrath will fall on YOUR FAMILIES....Simply Karma....

  • sonofagun - 2011-04-08 15:53

    The trade union will claim Ferreira's salary arrears for his widow," said Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis. What about damages due to non payment, including the loss of a loved one? R 170 000.00 does not cover a fraction of what his widow and child would need to try and begin from the bottom of an empty barrel. No amount of money can bring him back, but a decent payment can make the Ferreira family's grief a little rounder along the edges. R 5 Million sounds more acceptable.

      CheekySod - 2011-04-08 16:05

      They must claim 100 mil at least. The lawyers will take more than 5 mil. If they win, after tax the family may be able to buy bread. Sympathies and condolences to the family.

  • Allieo - 2011-04-08 15:57

    I have no words....

  • Smindlo - 2011-04-08 16:02

    damnit Zuma, your family is breaking families apart and robbing young kids the opportunity of growing up with loving fathers. WTF is happening? why is the Zuma and Mandela families allowed to get away with murder? The Aurora bosses had robbed this man of his dignity to provide for his family. I despise the ANC.

      lac - 2011-04-08 16:33

      You are absolutely spot-on, Smindlo. You've expressed it so well. I too despise the likes of the Zuma & Mandela families who care not a toss about others. They've merely enriched themselves and that's the end of the story. How sad, sad sad.

  • Iron John - 2011-04-08 16:05

    Where do these criminals dream up the "empowerment" and "systems" parts of Aurora Empowerment Systems? Clearly the only empowerment is the theft by the ANC pikinins of hardworking labourers' wages. The the only "system" is the systematic theft as mentioned above. Should go straight to jail, criminal bastards

  • 123online123 - 2011-04-08 16:13

    This is so sad! I cannot begin to imagine what this man went through. Cry the beloved country, cry!

  • jowza - 2011-04-08 16:17

    charge the bosses for murder

  • Bratt - 2011-04-08 16:18

    This is bullshit. People are dying and losing their livelihood. So sick of this shit.

  • Beam me up - 2011-04-08 16:27

    Aurora was supposed to be a model of “Black Economic Empowerment”, the mechanism through which a handful of black businesspeople (many of them with links with the liberation movement and even the trade union movement) have become capitalists themselves while the majority of South Africa’s poor and working class population still suffer from low wages, lack of housing, landlessness, etc.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-08 17:19

      a friend of mine who ran one of the gold mines told me a very interesting thing. during strikes the union bosses first looked after their own pockets and THEN the miners. to quote him verbatim. "then the union bosses instantly turned into capitalists." i wonder when the union masses are going to ask their bosses where their children go to school etc. i wish i could be a fly on the wall to listen to the answer?

      Andrew - 2011-08-17 13:10

      It is a perfect model of BEE. Just look around S.A to see this model repeated. The company was plundered, the assets turned into cash which was spent on themselves, the company was mismanaged. Many of the nouvea riche black businessmen simply do not understand what is required to run large companies. Eventually they find out that the bottomless pit indeed had a bottom. The real stakeholders all get to suffer, creditors are not paid (as the cash has been spent), salaries not paid (except for the chosen few). They are OK, don't see them sacrificing. Like the well known prospective BBBEE partner I was looking at said when I asked him how he would fund the 30% stake he was interested in. "Eykona, you've got this all wrong ........ you GIVE me 30% and then with my "contacts" I will make introductions for you such that you will easily get enough business to make that up". "Well I can't make that fly before the board, who are these "contacts"?". "That I can't tell you, trust me" he says then caps it all off with this comment. "It is wonderful be a black capitalist with no capital". No too long ago was approached to buy some assets from a failed BBBEE business. They had bought R10.2M worth of equipment, hired a building at R 200k per month which they half filled. In the two years of operation they had produced 0.3% of the rated capacity. Rent had never been paid and not one payment on the leased equipment had been made to the bank. But the owner drives an AMG 55?

  • Beam me up - 2011-04-08 16:31

    The story is even more scandalous because Aurora owners are extremely well connected individuals: Mandela's grandson Zondwa is managing director of the company and Zuma's nephew Khulubuse is chairman. They still live a life of luxury which is paraded everyday in the pages of South African newspapers. In September, Khulubuse Zuma attended the wedding of national police commissioner Bheki Cele in a R2.5-million Mercedes-Benz SLS63 AMG gullwing. Extracts from " In Defence of Marxism"

      Richard - 2011-04-09 08:35

      I wonder how he fitted in the car? Have you seen the fat pig?

  • Echo Bravo - 2011-04-08 16:33

    Aurora will come out squeaky clean (PART OF ANC SCHEMES)as the directors are all family of Government ministers.

  • porra 1 - 2011-04-08 16:33

    another Proof of power does not work with black man Zuna not organized a taxi with a driver how it goes look for one mine Madela same shit and this system and what they the ANC has in mind Malema want the mines land mines what they him needs under the car leaves the system with people with brains for the good of the country

  • Daniel - 2011-04-08 16:33

    WTF, where is the little BUBBLE and his mates, Mr Zuma you should be hanging your head in shame ! why dont you nip over in one of your fancy cars and console this family, and put some food on their table you fat f*&$%

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-04-08 16:41

    In breach of the Health and Safety Act, Labour laws and NEMA - Aurora's directors should go to gaol for a very long time. They exhibit a stunning level of callousness even worse than Jimmy Kruger's statement tha tBiko's death left him cold.

  • nitesh.khoosal - 2011-04-08 17:09

    3 letters 2 blame....ANC

      johnnymacza - 2011-08-28 06:25

      the anc and their comrades keep exhibiting the same mismanagement practices that has brought most of africa to its knees. white management is a must in every sphere of life.

  • Tiwonge - 2011-04-08 17:24

    The tragic effects of how a good a potentially lucrative company in bad hands can go wrong, with due respect to the fact that one of them carries a revered surname in the comical South African political scene.You don't become a good businessman by default. Moral: a high profile surname in politics does not a good enterprenuer make. If not, the Kennedy's, Churchills, would have been all billionaire. Leave business to people who know how to run them.

  • Monica - 2011-04-08 18:03

    He is leaving his family behind in more sad circumstances. I do not believe Aurora will pay their people. They paid a few to keep them quiet. Condolences to the mother and child. ANC could help out the ANCYL and the Soccer with Lotto funds; why could they not help these people; before they lost everything. The priorities of this country is out of place.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-04-08 18:13

    Zuma and Mandela shame.

  • K Man - 2011-04-08 18:17

    Jacob Zuma has no shame, so why would his son have any shame? Like father, like son.

  • Alfred - 2011-04-08 18:19

    And while people are losing everything, including their lives, fat f***er Zuma is driving around in: a R2.5-million Mercedes-Benz SLS 63 AMG a R3 million+ Bentley 2x R1.1-million BMW 750i sedans a R1 million Range Rover Sport a Mercedes-Benz Vito three Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and about 10 other vehicles. Throw this disgusting bag of excrement into a cell and sell off all his assets until people get paid for work they've already done.

      Mabhulwana - 2011-04-08 20:15

      I only wish this is not entirely true! How an a human being own so many expensive cars?

      Linda - 2011-04-08 20:54

      Sadly Mabhulwana, it is true. I thought about this when we saw all of those poor mine workers with no food or money just before Christmas. It broke my heart but I'm sure it didn't put a dent in Khulabuser Zuma's Christmas celebrations. You could probably have fed all of the miners with the crumbs from his lap. Now this tragedy - it is a disgrace.

      Alfred - 2011-04-08 20:55

      Mabhulwana, I think he owns them because (apparently) he doesn't have to pay salaries. What I'd like to know is how he can drive them with a clear conscience after screwing over so many people.

  • Mole71 - 2011-04-08 23:58

    So sad... Where is Mr Zuma? Oh yes, holed up in a 5* hotel at the coast, ringing up huge bar tabs and smoking only the finest Cuban cigars... That of course after arriving in one of his many exclusive cars... Ive seen this first hand, no BS...

  • Doug - 2011-08-27 18:57

    Zuma & Mandela families WTF!!!!!!

  • johnnymacza - 2011-08-28 06:11

    the greatest asset has are their people. should they not come to terms with that they do not belong in business.

  • johnnymacza - 2011-08-28 06:16

    the loss off personal property due to non payment of salary should also be recovered from the employer. should they not comply start selling of company and directors assets to assist. the time is right to lite sa employers know that they have ab responsibility toward their employees and not only consider themselves and their needs.

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