Court grants Aurora ‘extension of pain’
THE POLITICALLY connected Aurora group was given more time by the High Court in Pretoria yesterday to produce funding guarantees to buy the financially stricken Pamodzi Gold mine, one of the liquidators said.
“The court has given them an extension until the 28th of February. By then, the guarantees are going to be issued by a Chinese company,” one of the joint liquidators, Enver Motala, told Sapa.
Aurora, whose directors include Khulubuse Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, and Zondwa Mandela, former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, is currently running Pamodzi Gold mine in Orkney and Springs, after making a bid to buy it in 2009.
But since then, several possible deals have fallen through, mining had ground to a halt and many miners had not been paid since March this year.
Motala said the judge was given a letter from the bankers of the Chinese company yesterday to say that funding had been issued.
He said he could not name the company yet due to “their own stock exchange regulations”.
Aurora spokesman Michael Hulley said he did not want to comment, and referred all queries to Motala.
“I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment.”
Motala confirmed a newspaper report earlier this week that some of the workers at Aurora’s Grootvlei mine had started receiving salaries after nine months of no pay.
The mine is said to owe about 5 500 workers an estimated R15 million in salaries.
Trade unions whose members are employed by Aurora said they were opposed to the company getting any further extension from the court.
“All they’re doing is extending the pain,” said Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis. – Sapa