Johannesburg - Khulubuse Zuma will appeal after his legal defeat on Friday in the ongoing Aurora saga. If that doesn’t work and he has nowhere left to run from a crushing R1.7bn civil claim, he will sue his former partners in the infamous Aurora Empowerment Systems.
According to Vuyo Mkhize, Zuma’s spokesperson, “it’s a simple question of practicalities”.
“You cannot lodge a civil claim on the basis of findings that are being challenged. In the event that he has exhausted all his avenues for appeal and is hit with a claim … that is the only time he will pay, and no time before that,” he told City Press.
For now, the challenge continues.
Zuma, the nephew of the president, former late president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela and their colleague Thulani Ngubane, as well as partners Solly and Fazel Bhana lost their appeal against an earlier judgment holding them personally liable for debts of R1.7 billion.
Without a further appeal, they now face the possibility of sequestration – losing their assets.
The team was appealing a successful so-called section 424 application from the liquidators of Pamodzi Gold. They had proven a claim of R1.7 billion against Aurora, the company appointed to run the Pamodzi mines on the understanding that it would buy them out of liquidation.
Aurora itself is now in liquidation and has no assets that the Pamodzi estate can claim. The 424 application was aimed at transferring the debt from the company to the directors, after convincing the courts that they had been negligent and reckless.
Zuma has split from his erstwhile partners, believing he was particularly uninvolved with the debacle as a nonexecutive chairman who hardly knew what was going on and, in fact, lost money himself.