The “noose” has tightened around the necks of Khulubuse Zuma and Zondwa Mandela and the management consultants of Aurora Empowerment Systems who together orchestrated the “biggest corporate scandal” in SA since the dawn of democracy.
Yesterday the Pamodzi liquidators lodged an application in terms of Section 424 of the Companies Act, which means that Zuma – the president’s nephew – Mandela – the grandson of Nelson Mandela – commercial director Thulani Ngubani and management consultants Fazel and Solly Bhana will all be personally sued for their share in the “reckless management and collapse” of the Pamodzi gold mines.
In their application, which stems from the recent insolvency inquiry, the liquidators reveal how Aurora was used by its directors and by the Bhanas, who were in de facto control of Aurora, to obtain the status of the preferred bidder to gain control over all the assets of the gold mines of Pamodzi Gold Orkney and the East Rand mines.
“By gaining the position of control over all the assets, the entire infrastructure on all the mines was destroyed under the control of Aurora and the mining operations reduced to care and maintenance.
“In addition R120 million of gold proceeds remain unaccounted for.”
The liquidators have instituted claims against the insolvent estate of Aurora for R1.7 billion.
Their papers also detail alleged unauthorised pay-ments made to Bhana family members, running into millions.
The document reveals how the respondents deliberately “jointly, knowingly and wilfully” misled the liquidators about their financial ability and were already insolvent at the time of concluding the transaction, and at no stage had sufficient capital to manage the mines or to pay thousands of workers.
The liquidators state that the respondents conducted and/or managed the affairs of Aurora recklessly with the intention to defraud the insolvent companies represented by the provincial liquidators, and its creditors, to the latter’s prejudice.
Gideon du Plessis, the deputy general secretary of Solidarity, called it the country’s worst corporate scandal and said those at the helm of Aurora should never be allowed to do business in SA again.
“It’s a story of corruption, self-enrichment, vandalism and the inhumanity of directors and management consultants, combined with the lack of political will to intervene.
“At the same time, it is a story of integrity, courage and perseverance shown by employees who have lost everything in the process.” -Saturday Star