Aurora liquidation issue returns to court

Liquidators want Khulubuse Zuma and Zondwa Mandela held responsible for the failure of two mines.

Aurora mine. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - While the liquidators of Aurora Empowerment Systems prepare to head back to the High Court this morning, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it has not yet received the go ahead from the Presidency to probe the alleged fraudulent running of two mines by the company.

Aurora was cast into the spotlight in 2009 after taking over two Pamodzi Gold Mines in Gauteng and the North West, with President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse and Nelson Mandela's grandson Zondwa listed as directors.

More than 5,000 jobs were lost at the mines within five years during which Aurora was accused of destroying the operations infrastructure and selling off R120 million worth of gold.

The SIU says it received the Department of Justice's Pamodzi Inquiry report earlier this year and has already sent motivations to the president as to why it should investigate the management of the mines.

But an official proclamation has not yet been signed by Zuma, which means the investigation cannot begin.

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says he will keep a close eye on today's High Court proceedings as the Aurora case has set a precedent.

"When people strip mining assets after acquiring them they are not assisting with the basic strategy and the needs of our country for job creation."

The liquidators want Khulubuse Zuma and Zondwa Mandela to be held responsible for the failure of the mines as well as R150 million worth of payments that cannot be traced.