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State-owned company chief executive says he didn't want to renew contract

By unknown | Dec 13, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Leseja Mokgata

Leseja Mokgata

Mzamani Elias Mdaka yesterday resigned as chief executive of Alexkor after two and a half years at the helm of the state-owned diamond mining company.

With 20 years experience in the mining industry, the 39-year-old Mdaka said he had made a significant contribution at Alexkor, keeping it afloat in difficult times.

He said: "My contract expired and I didn't renew it. That's what I'm prepared to discuss at the moment. I didn't want to make any long-term commitments."

When Mdaka was appointed chief executive of Alexkor in 2005, he noted that the company would continue to suffer losses until a recapitalisation programme was finalised.

An ongoing dispute over a piece of land, which Alexkor is mining in Richtersveld near the Orange River, resulted in a Constitutional Court claim against the company.

Members of the Richtersveld community were claiming back the 85000 hectare land, which was taken from them in the 1920s.

The community members were also seeking R2,5billion in compensation. The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of the company.

While Mdaka's role in the land claim was unclear, the dispute, which began in 1995, was finally settled last month out of court. The department of public enterprises awarded the community R190million, 49percent in Alexkor shares and 85000 hectares of land.

President Thabo Mbeki handed the land over to the community at the beginning of the year.

Mdaka said: "The resolution of the land claim will be good for the company.

"Now they'll be able to focus on a long-term business plan, and focus on recapitalisation.

"I've utilised my knowledge to the best of my ability, and I've managed to sustain the organisation through difficult times."

Mdaka said he had not received any new offers.

He said: "There are many opportunities in mining, and if something comes up, I won't let it pass.

"For now, I will be spending time with my family."


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