In South Africa Court dismisses appeal from relatives of Mandela, Zuma

"This has restored our faith in the legal system," Gideon du Plessis, who heads the Solidarity trade union, told Talk Radio 702.

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South Africa's appeals court dismissed an application by relatives of Nelson Mandela and President Jacob Zuma to overturn a ruling that they must pay damages for stripping the assets of mines they ran, news agency EWN reported on Thursday.

In June 2015 a court ruled that the directors and associates involved in Aurora Empowerment Systems should pay shareholders and liquidators 1.7 billion rand ($113 million) compensation for their role in the demise of the operations, which left thousands of workers jobless and destitute.

Zondwa Mandela -- a grandson of the late anti-apartheid hero -- and Zuma's nephew Khulubuse, were directors of Aurora, appointed in 2009 to manage two gold mines near Johannesburg after the Pamodzi Gold company which they ran went into liquidation.

"This has restored our faith in the legal system," Gideon du Plessis, who heads the Solidarity trade union, told Talk Radio 702.

The appeals court ruled that if the associates of Aurora do not pay they will be sequestrated, which means their personal assets could be set aside to pay off creditors, EWN reported.

Khulubuse Zuma's lawyer, Vuyo Mkhize, said he could take the matter to the Constitutional Court, EWN reported.

Aurora's acquisition of the mines was held up in the media as an example of how well-connected members of the political elite often get preferential treatment in Africa's most advanced economy.

($1 = 15.0435 rand)

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