/ 2 June 2011

Call for government probe into Aurora

Call For Government Probe Into Aurora

The government must probe Aurora and its dismissed liquidators, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

“The investigators must look into allegations that the company, with the connivance of the liquidators, were asset-stripping the mines by looting and selling off equipment,” Vavi told the National Union of Mineworkers central committee in Boksburg.

“[Investigators must] find out whether the liquidators received kickbacks for turning a blind eye to this.

“The numerous breaches of the labour laws committed by this company must also be investigated.”

‘It has condemned the workers to hunger and misery’
Vavi said the decision by Aurora’s provisional liquidators to terminate its interim trading contract to run the Orkney and Grootvlei mines should be applauded.

“… [I]n particular, the order that compels Aurora to restore the mines to the condition they were in when they took them over from DRDGold, and to vacate the premises immediately.”

Aurora is owned by Khulubuse Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, and Zondwa Mandela, grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.

Vavi said companies like Aurora had “no place in a democratic South Africa”.

“This company owes many of your members millions of rands in unpaid wages and has left them with virtually no income for two years.

“It has condemned the workers and their families to hunger and misery. So great was the misery of these workers that one even resorted to taking his own life.”

The Aurora “disaster” was a lesson that capital, black or white, cared only for profit, said Vavi. — Sapa