Pamodzi mine controversy drags on

Sunday, 26 January 2014 09:07
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Pamodzi mine controversy drags on Aurora Empowerment Systems, whose board members included President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma, Nelson Mandela's grandson Zondwa Mandela and businessman Thulani Ngubane, was seen as the saviour of liquidated mining company Pamodzi Gold when it took over two of its mines in 2009.

Aurora was appointed as the preferred bidder by the joint provisional liquidators of Pamodzi, one of whom was controversial liquidator Enver Motala. Then a new company, packed with a "who's who" of political heavyweights allegedly presented a "beautiful" bid to the liquidators to buy Pamodzi's gold assets for close to R400-million.
But cracks soon began to show when it became clear that the father-and-son team of Solly and Fazel Bhana, who were brought on by Aurora's board as "consultants and advisers", were "calling the shots". During a 2012 inquiry into the collapse of Pamodzi Gold, questions were raised about allegations that tens of millions of rands made from gold sales were surreptitiously being diverted into private accounts, mostly belonging to members of the Bhana family, whereas thousands of mineworkers went unpaid.
At the time, Aurora's management denied that money was being used for non mining purposes or that it was involved in asset-stripping, but allegations persisted regarding shady deals at the mine. Some of the allegations related to "mystery" trucks that were said by sources to be removing equipment from the shafts.

Aurora removed as bidder

Following the removal of Aurora as the preferred bidder to run the two mines in late 2011, after which the company was itself put into liquidation, liquidators sought to have Fazel and Solly Bhana, along with Zuma, Mandela and Ngubane, held personally liable for the R2-billion debt owed to Pamodzi.
In a 2012 court application, one of Pamodzi's joint provisional liquidators, Johan Engelbrecht, claimed that the men had "managed the affairs of Aurora recklessly with the intent to defraud" Pamodzi's liquidators and creditors.
Engelbrecht also noted that Pamodzi had "proved claims in the insolvent estate of Aurora" to the value of R122-million in gold sales and R1.8-billion incurred through the destruction of the mines' assets.
The Bhanas tried to distance themselves from the management of Aurora during the Pamodzi inquiry.
But in his testimony, Zuma said that the controversial pair were involved in Aurora "prior to negotiations which ensued for the purchase of Pamodzi".
Engelbrecht noted in his court affidavit that Zuma "confirmed that, in his experience, the Bhanas were the main contributors to the decision-making of the running of the company".
The matter brought against the Bhanas and former Arurora directors by the Pamodzi liquidators has been set down for August this year.

amaBhungane reporters for Mail & Guardian

Read 14410 times Last modified on Friday, 06 November 2015 05:44


The FSE contributed to the article titled “Caught between a rock and hard place”...



The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine.  The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.   Watch the video here.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.



The Intervention document is attached for download.

Development of the National Eutrophication Strategy and Supporting Documents

Attached documents:1. DWS Eutrophication SA & GA PSC 1 BID2. PSC 1 Meeting A...

Fears of long term damage to SA's water supply as eutrophication strangles rivers and dams | IOL

Toxic green algae in the Vaal River is caused by eutrophication, which harms wat...