The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has welcomed the ruling on Tuesday which dismissed the application by Khulubuse Zuma for the deferment of legal steps which were being taken by Pamhodzi Liquidators. Pamhodzi Liquidators seeks to compel Aurora Empowerment Systems to pay the more that R1,5 billion that is owed to the former Pamhodzi workers.
The case, which was brought to the high court by the liquidators, was meant to compel the Aurora directors, of which Zuma is a part, to pay back the money owed to the workers since they were part of the process that stripped the assets of Pamhodzi Gold, which once owned mines in Springs near Johannesburg and in Orkney in the North West Province. The case will be heard on the 23rd of March and Zuma was attempting to stop this hearing. His case was dismissed with costs by the Pretoria High Court. Speaking after the hearing, Zuma’s spokesman Vuyo’s Mkhize said Khulubuse was not compelled to pay the money since it related to the time they were in the employment of Pamhodzi Gold. He added that he only learnt of the March 23 court application in January after attempting unsuccessfully to obtain certain legal documents.
Responding to the results of the urgent court application by Zuma, National Union of Mineworkers spokesman welcomed the ruling saying, “Thousands of these workers are still trapped in abject poverty. They have no food, have no running water and some of those workers are sick and others have passed on due to stress created by these heartless tenderpreneurs.” Also full of praise for the ruling was another worker organisation representatives, Solidarity Secretary General, Gidion du Plessis who said, “We are grateful that the lawsuit can go ahead and that the process wasn’t delayed. Justice can finally be obtained for the estimated 5.3 million former Pamhodzi employees.” Du Plessis added, in a statement that the liquidators wanted to ensure that the Aurora directors are made to pay for stripping of Pamhodzi assets which were worth close to R1.6 billion as well as proceeds from the sale of gold, equipment, scrape metal and other assets.