Zondwa Mandela and Khulubuse Zuma must pay Aurora workers

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed an appeal application by directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems‚ which means they must immediately pay damages and the salaries of 5‚300 employees or face sequestration‚ trade union Solidarity said.

This included former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela‚ Thulani Ngubane and President Jacob Zuma’s nephew‚ Khulubuse Zuma‚ as well as Solly and Fazel Bhana.

Through Aurora‚ they assumed control of the Pamodzi group’s East Rand and Orkney gold mines in 2009 when the previous owners were placed in provisional liquidation.

Solidarity general-secretary Gideon Du Plessis said on Thursday that the latest court ruling represented an end to “five years of evading and frustrating the justice system”.

More prosecution was set to follow‚ and “this judgment is a major victory for the 5‚300 workers who have been innocently plunged into poverty‚ and the rule of law has also triumphed‚” Du Plessis said.

In June 2015‚ the High Court in Pretoria had ruled that the Aurora directors could be held liable for damages that could amount to R1.7 billion.

The court concluded that they had acted recklessly and fraudulently when they assumed control of the Pamodzi assets. The mines were idled and stripped of assets‚ leaving some employees without pay for months.