Goods of Aurora boss Zuma seized

15 April 2012 - 02:38 By SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER

KHULUBUSE Zuma's role in a collapsed mining venture will cost him three luxury vehicles and other household items at an upcoming auction.

And next on the list is Zondwa Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, who is Zuma's partner in the beleaguered mining group Aurora Empowerment Systems.

Neither Zuma nor Mandela could be reached for comment this week.

Zuma, a nephew of President Jacob Zuma, and Mandela owe a fortune to creditors after their disastrous involvement in the Grootvlei mine in Springs left hundreds of workers penniless.

One creditor, Protea Coin Security, secured an execution order in the High Court in Pretoria against the high-rolling mine bosses last month.

In January, Aurora was ordered to pay Protea Coin R10-million they were owed for providing security at Grootvlei.

When that failed, Protea returned to court and targeted both men in their personal capacity, seeking - and receiving - an attachment and execution order.

Both Zuma and Mandela - who have been accused of stripping Aurora's assets - signed surety in 2010, meaning they were liable for the company's debts. Aurora is under liquidation.

While Mandela's assets have not yet been seized, three of Zuma's BMWs as well as some furniture and appliances have been confiscated from his home in Umhlanga.

They are being closely guarded at the sheriff's office in Verulam. The Sunday Times was refused permission to photograph the lot.

The items - including his 7, 5 and 3 series BMWs, a microwave, double-door fridge, washing machine, bar stools, a dining-room table and chairs and a three-piece leather lounge suite - will go under the hammer on April 23.

Even the garden table and chairs, along with a flat-screen TV and stand, have not been spared the auctioneer's hammer.

Said Protea Coin's attorney, Nic Viviers: "It would be difficult to estimate what the proceeds of the sale in execution would be. It is not expected that the full judgment debt will be recovered from the proceeds of the sale."

Viviers said that in terms of law, movable items had to be attached and sold before immovable property.

He said all of Zuma's "movable assets that could be attached at the residential premises were attached".

"Mandela and Zuma both signed sureties for Aurora's indebtedness towards Protea Coin. Judgment was subsequently obtained against both of them as a consequence of them electing not to honour their obligations stipulated in these suretyship agreements," he said, adding he could not say when Mandela's assets would be attached.

Khulubuse Zuma's appetite for the high life has often raised eyebrows.

A regular at Durban's five-star Oyster Box Hotel, he is known for splurging thousands of rands on expensive cognac and Cuban cigars.

In December last year, he splashed out over R1-million on a 2009-model silver Maserati for his fiancée, Fikiswe Dlamini.

This as some of the more than 700 destitute miners at his liquidated mines - Grootvlei in Gauteng and Orkney in North West - were stranded and unable to return home for Christmas because they had not been paid for two years. Outraged trade union bosses said the miners were owed over R4.5-million in wages.

Attorney Ahmed Amod declined to comment on behalf of Zuma, saying he no longer represented him.