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A matter of concern

By Sowetan Editorial | 2010-11-10 08:21:25.0

THE situation involving Aurora, the mining company owned by Nelson Mandela's grandson Zondwa and President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse, needs serious intervention.

Failure to do so can only undermine the public's belief in the principle that all SA citizens are equal before the law.

The departments of labour and of water affairs, the Human Rights Commission, the National Prosecuting Authority and the police have been probing various offences linked to the company.

These include failure to pay miners at the company's Grootvlei Mine in Springs since April; allegations of mismanaging UIF contributions by the miners; allegations that toxic waste water from the mine is being dumped into the nearby Blesbokspruit; as well as the deaths of four illegal miners in a shootout with security guards contracted to the company.

Of concern is the fact that none of these investigations by the various agencies have so far borne any fruit. This has, unfortunately, created the impression that the investigations are dragging because of the Aurora owners' political connections.

It is easy to dismiss these concerns as another "witch-hunt" against ANC-linkedindividuals.

But failure to address these concerns goes against the often cited aphorism that "justice should be seen to be done".

Implied in this basic rule is that the public must feel a sense of fairness, honesty, equality and consistency in the law.

By dragging their feet the agencies are undermining these basic principles.