Aurora Empowerment Systems director, nephew of the president and mining investor Khulubuse Zuma has accepted to pay R23-million in a settlement deal with Pamodzi mine liquidators.
The settlement brings to an end Zuma’s role in court action aimed at recouping R1.7-billion from the Aurora directors, which include former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa, Thulani Ngubane, Solly , Fazel and Zubeida Bhana, Yaseem Theba. The Bhanas and Theba were placed under provisional sequestration in the high court in Pretoria today after they failed to pay R59-million in damages, which they had agreed to earlier.
The settlement compels Zuma to make R500 000 monthly instalment payments until he’s paid off R21-million to liquidators. Thereafter, the instalment would be decreased to R100 000 per month, until the outstanding R2-million is paid up.
Zuma has already made a down payment of R5-million for the settlement. The deal follows a long-running court battle during which Zuma attempted to absolve himself of any blame for the deterioration of the Pamodzi mine, near Orkney in the North West, after its purchase by Aurora in 2009.
The company’s five directors, Zuma, Zondwa Mandela, Ngubane and Solly and Fazel Bhana, are accused of stripping the Orkney mine in the North West of its assets and failing to pay 5 300 workers salaries and allowances, or save jobs.
Included in the Pamodzi liquidators list of creditors are 5 300 workers, who are owed millions in salaries and allowances, as well as the South African Revenue Service and power utility Eskom. Zuma’s R23-million settlement also includes legal fees of around R5-million.