Cameras allowed in court for Aurora directors' pollution case in November

Khulubuse Zuma, along with Thulani Ngubane and Zondwa Mandela, are accused of failing to treat underground water before releasing it into the Blesbokspruit.
Khulubuse Zuma, along with Thulani Ngubane and Zondwa Mandela, are accused of failing to treat underground water before releasing it into the Blesbokspruit.
Image: Lebohang Mashiloane / Gallo Images

The Springs regional court on Wednesday gave permission for the media to broadcast the trial of former Aurora Empowerment Systems directors accused of damaging the environment.

The court said it was in the public interest to broadcast the trial of Khulubuse Zuma, Zondwa Mandela and Thulani Ngubane, which was earlier postponed to November 5.

The three first appeared in court in May to face five counts related to environmental and water transgressions at the failed Grootvlei mine, near Springs, east of Johannesburg.

They were charged with transgressing the National Water Act by failing to treat underground water before releasing it into the Blesbokspruit, which feeds into the Marievale wetland and, ultimately, the Vaal River.

The charges relate to the period between February and October 2010, when as directors they allegedly unlawfully polluted water resources by discharging untreated mine water into the natural water stream.

During their second appearance in July, news channel eNCA requested permission to film proceedings. Lawyers for the accused opposed the application and the matter was postponed until Wednesday.

The court on Wednesday granted eNCA’s application.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which lobbied the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for two years to get the matter back to court, welcomed the decision to allow broadcasting.


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