/ 25 October 2010

NUM wants Aurora liquidation nullified

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) expressed concern on Monday that assets at Aurora’s Orkney and Grootvlei mines were being sold as scrap, saying that the “obviously failed” liquidation of the Pamodzi Gold mine should be nullified.

“Whilst the liquidators argue that they had allowed Aurora to sell some scrap at the two mines, the NUM is concerned that some assets may be sold in the process and thus disadvantaging whoever will take over the mine,” said NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

“Not only those who may take over the mine will be disadvantaged, but also the over 4 000 workers that Aurora has left out in the cold.”

Seshoka called on the liquidators to “exercise caution” and also appealed to the department of justice to nullify the liquidation process.

“The NUM is concerned that the lines between scrap and assets will be blurred in the process. The two mines are already marginal and any sale of the assets will make any take-over virtually impossible.

“The NUM therefore calls on the liquidators to exercise caution and further appeals to the department of justice to, through the master [of the] court, nullify the obviously failed liquidation process as soon as possible.”

The justice department was not immediately available for comment.

The main liquidator, Enver Motala, was asked last week by the South African Press Association for comment on reports that Aurora was selling assets without permission. He declined to comment, saying he would respond when he had time, which he had still not done by Monday.

Aurora has made a bid to buy Pamodzi Gold mine, which has been in financial difficulties since 2008.

Aurora, whose directors include Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zondwa, and President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse, has so far failed to secure any funding to take the deal forward, leaving thousands of miners unpaid since March. – Sapa