Court grants Aurora ‘ex­ten­sion of pain’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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