Khulubuse Zuma is a former director of Aurora Empowerment Systems. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Four politically-connected Aurora directors have stepped down as directors of Labat, a JSE-listed silicon chip business, Business Day reported on Tuesday.

President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma, former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela, President Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley and Aurora’s commercial director Thulani Ngubane had “agreed to stand down” from Labat's board.

“Following the cancellation of Aurora as the preferred bidder by the liquidators for the Grootvlei-Orkney assets, the members of Aurora felt that their further involvement in Labat, and particularly their directorships in Labat, were no longer appropriate and therefore they agreed to stand down as directors of the company,” Labat said in a Sens statement.

According to Business Day, Aurora originally wanted to use Labat as a cash shell for a reverse listing.

The Labat shell would have allowed Aurora to raise fresh capital by issuing new shares to existing shareholders or new investors, for its bid to buy the Pamodzi gold mines.

The Aurora directors were replaced by Brian Jacobs and Dumisani Lupungela.

Pamodzi went into liquidation in 2009, after which the liquidators accepted Aurora's R600 million bid for the Orkney mine in the North West and the Grootvlei mine in Springs, Gauteng.

Aurora failed to raise the capital to follow through on the sale, and in June the liquidators ordered it to leave the mines.

According to unions, Aurora failed to pay miners and allegedly stripped the mines' assets. - Sapa