'Hostile elements' behind Aurora campaign
Fin24

'Hostile elements' behind Aurora campaign

2014-09-19 07:54

Cape Town - Hostile elements “both inside and outside” the governing ANC are behind the campaign to sequestrate former Aurora Empowerment System directors and their associates. So says Thulane Ngubane, the former Aurora finance director.

At the same time Solly Phatoe, Cosatu regional secretary for the North West who has headed the campaign against what he calls the “massive theft and fraud” at the Pamodzi/Aurora mines, maintains that he has received anonymous threats against his life.

“But I don’t care.  There are people who should be in jail, but are not because of political connections,” he says.

Ngubane spoke out in the wake of news that Cosatu had called on the sheriff to attach the assets of those concerned with Aurora management in order to repay R35m to creditors and miners.

Read: Call to attach property of Khulubuse, Zondwa

He denied that any money was owed — and certainly not in terms of unpaid wages. “We were only at those mines for three months and it was [previous owners] Pamodzi that did not pay,” he said.

He maintains that, because of a “political agenda” that involved both the National Union of Mineworkers and the Solidarity union, an attempt by Chinese investors to “rescue the situation” was sabotaged. Regarding the admitted stripping of assets from the mines, Ngubane maintains that this was done by miners responsibile for the care and maintenance. “We have video footage to prove this and we will show this in court.”

However, the high court in Pretoria last month had R16m of “unlawful” Aurora payments set aside and there was a ruling that R35m in outstanding debts to creditors, headed by nearly 5 000 miners, should be paid by December 15. 

The responsibility here falls initially on Aurora financial advisers, Sulliman Bhana and his son, Fazel - “the agents of Aurora,” says Phatoe.

R1.7bn claim for 'reckless' management

This sometimes convoluted and long-delayed legal battle follows the botched attempt by Aurora to buy Pamodzi’s Grootvlei and Orkney gold mines in 2009. Along with the rulings last month, Sulliman and Fazel Bhana, together with Khulubuse Zuma, Zondwa Mandela and Ngubane, face a R1.7bn claim for having managed the mines “recklessly, with the intent to defraud”. 

This has been set down for a final hearing in March next year.

The case dates back to 2009 and the botched attempt by Aurora to buy bankrupt Pamodzi’s gold mines.  The first liquidator appointed was Enver Motala, who, it subsequently transpired, was once known as Enver Dawood and had been convicted of fraud. 

Cosatu now wants R3m paid to Motala to be paid back.

“But we have workers who are hungry, who are starving,” says Phatoe. “That is what we are fighting for.”

 - Fin24

Comments
  • Todays Realist - 2014-09-19 08:05

    The crooks must pay and be sent to jail. The workers lost with this bunch of morons looting and pillaging!

      Revelgen - 2014-09-19 10:35

      You're damn right there are 'hostile elements.' Hostile against fraud, hostile against the poor miners being left to starve, hostile against the crooked ANC that tries all it can to protect its own crooks. One utterly despicable government.

      Ike Jakson - 2014-09-20 09:12

      I see Doctoro Malemmer against the Zuma family. It could be great fun to watch; may just turn out to be that Zuma made a small minor mistake underestimating the good Doctoro.

  • Lynn Hugo - 2014-09-19 08:25

    Amazing how its never there fault. Now there is a conspiracy against them. They still pocketed millions. Politically connected mafia. Its time to pay the workers!!!!.

  • Phillip Marchant - 2014-09-19 08:40

    Get this stinking, fat thief and his accomplices into jail for life! Through their unlawful self-enrichment they have caused many to die, and for that they need to pay. Come on ANC! What is holding you up? Get rid of this famine-causer's protector, whose god is his stomach, so that he can no longer protect him, and so they both can lament their evil ways together, in that dark place where they long to be! Do it! Do it, NOW!

  • Utopian Indigent - 2014-09-19 08:52

    No mercy 4 many struggling companies but dont touch Aurora's Khulubuse Zuma & Zondwa. This is typical rampant Nkandla-ism killing South Africa fast. The author and News24 should be ashamed of the biased heading for this article.

      Lucky Luke - 2014-09-19 09:13

      Why attack the heading? it is 100% relevant!

  • Frank Jordaan - 2014-09-19 11:09

    Go Cosatu- ruin these fat cats who caused misery to thousands of decent people because of outright fraud and greed- just look at the Zuma involved and his open flaunting of his ill gained wealth. The scumbag looks like he ate the mine and the equipment!!!

  • Gavin Hillyard - 2014-09-19 12:19

    The owners had no intention of running the mine. The equipment was stripped out and sold. Miners were left to starve and die. It's called Asset Stripping. It is a crime and must not go unpunished.

  • Louise Cook - 2014-09-30 01:54

    thank goodness for Solidarity and Cosatu who are fighting for the workers who spent years without a salary without either the labour or mining ministers lifting a finger to intervene! Yes, Aurora political connected former owners, directors, Motala former liquidator and ilk must pay back the millions they stole.

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