Mine liquidator under fire
SOLIDARITY and the National Union of Mineworkers have joined forces to get the liquidator of the embattled Aurora mine fired.
The unions will also take the mine to court for theft. The unions had previously separately submitted a request to the master of the high court for the liquidator to be removed and are still waiting for a response.
The mine is owned by Khulubuse Zuma and Zondwa Mandela. Aurora bought the mine out of the Pamodzi Gold liquidation last year, but when its funding did not come through mining operations stopped. Since early this year more than 3 000 workers have not been paid.
Gideon du Plessis, deputy general secretary of Solidarity, said they would approach the court to have Enver Motala removed as liquidator.
"Motala defends Aurora's unacceptable conduct on an ongoing basis, which calls his ethics and political ties and agenda into question," Du Plessis said.
He said they would take Aurora to the Labour Court for money owed to workers, which included outstanding salaries, pension fund, UIF and PAYE for theft.
Du Plessis said it was worrying that Motala accompanied the Aurora delegation to China to source a new funder without the knowledge and consent of his fellow liquidators after two funders withdrew.
He said a number of offers had been tabled to rescue the mine but Motala had declined them because they were less than Aurora's, which would earn liquidators more commission.
NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said they were frustrated by the lack of action from the government.
"The union wonders whether the Aurora directors are so powerful that no single government department is prepared to act against them," he said.
But Motala said six other liquidators were involved. "It is unjustified and unreasonable them (unions) to single me out. I'm the spokesperson of the liquidators," he said. Motala said the decision to choose Aurora as a preferred bidder for Pamodzi was taken by major secured creditors, UNI Credit Bank in Germany, IDC, Solidarity and NUM.
He said the liquidators had been frustrated and voiced their concerns about the manner in which Aurora managed the process. "I went to China to meet with the Chinese funder. Other liquidators knew about it," he said.
Motala also confirmed that Aurora received R13 million from Swiss funder GEM, which had apparently agreed to release R50 million of its R750 million to the liquidator by September.