Axed South African Pamodzi Gold (JNB:PZG) liquidator Enver Motala said in a 14-page media statement that Aurora Empowerment Systems “was never given preference” because of its political connections, the Times Live reports on Tuesday.
Motala, who has vowed to challenge his dismissal from the case, argued that there was “simply no truth” to allegations that Aurora remained the preferred bidder for struggling Pamodzi Gold mines as a result of the identities of its directors.
The directors of Aurora are Khulubuse Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Michael Hulley, Zuma’s legal adviser, and Zondwa Mandela, former President Nelson Mandela’s grandson.
This, according to Motala, was just a coincidence.
Motala, and another joint liquidator, Gavin Gainsford, were part of a group of six liquidators appointed to manage the assets of South African Pamodzi Gold mines in Springs, on the East Rand, and Orkney, in the North West Province.
However, Motala and Gainsford have now been dismissed from the case, after which Aurora was removed from the matter by the four remaining liquidators. Tlali Tlali, South African Justice Department spokesman, said the pair were fired to “safeguard the integrity of the liquidation process.”
“Liquidators are, by law, required to act without fear or favour and in the best interests of the creditors of liquidated estates,” the remaining liquidators said a statement.
National Union of Mineworkers have welcomed the news, as has the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu).
Cosatu released a statement that read “Cosatu demands that the government investigate both Aurora and the dismissed liquidators… 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, and find out whether the liquidators received kick-backs for turning a blind eye to this.”
Other potentially interested buyers have stepped forward following Aurora’s removal, said the Business Day.