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Aurora delaying paying workers: Cosatu

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The directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems are trying to renege on their responsibility to pay workers at the Pamodzi gold mines, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said at the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was speaking to reporters after the proceedings of an urgent application by Khulubuse Zuma to have claims of approximately R1.5 billion against Aurora set aside.

“We have a group of directors… who are doing everything to stonewall and delay workers from [getting] what is clearly due to them.

“[It’s] going to add more to the suffering of the workers who are waiting for relief from the court.”

Zuma’s case was premature and inappropriate, Vavi said.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Matlosane regional secretary Joseph Monisetse said he was very concerned about Zuma’s application.

“This application is really disturbing us because it seeks to postpone again the interests of workers who have been waiting for almost five years now.”

He hoped the case would be dismissed.

“Instead of Aurora paying workers, they are paying lawyers to defend themselves against paying the poor workers.”

Zuma’s court bid could hinder efforts by liquidators to hold the directors of Aurora responsible for the apparent stripping of assets at the mines in Springs and Orkney. The case brought by the liquidators was due to be heard on March 23.

Zuma claimed that the liquidators had neglected their duties.

In 2009, Aurora was appointed by liquidators to manage the mines in Springs and Orkney.

However, the company instead allegedly stripped the mines of infrastructure and also left hundreds of employees without pay and surviving on handouts. SAPA

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