Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann yesterday dismissed an application by Aurora directors Khulubuse Zuma, Zondwa Mandela, Thulani Ngubane, Suliman Bhana and his son Fazel, for leave to appeal against his judgment in favour of Pamodzi’s liquidators.
He said the directors knew from the start that Aurora was insolvent and that their bid documents contained false information. They knew they had no money, except R15 million obtained from the community, and the mines deteriorated from the moment they took control. He said there could be no doubt the directors had acted recklessly and in the case of Mandela, Ngubane and the Bhanas, fraudulently.
Cosatu’s secretary in the North West, Solly Phetoe, said the ruling sent a very clear message that even those who were politically connected were not above the law. Solidarity’s Gideon du Plessis said it was a victory for the workers. “The workers now for the first time have the opportunity to recover some of their losses and there is not much room for these perpetrators to hide,” he said.
Du Plessis said if the directors failed to pay, the next step would be to obtain an order of execution, then the sheriff could start attaching their assets. Khulubuse Zuma’s spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize said Zuma would exploit all legal avenues open to him to reverse the ruling and planned to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal.