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Views : Zuma, Mandela relatives in trouble?

A mine managed by relatives of former president Nelson Mandela and President Jacob Zuma has been charged for pumping it water into a protected wetland.

The department of water affairs laid criminal charges against Aurora Empowerment Systems, a company directed by Mandela's grandson Zondwa Mandela and Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma for pumping hundreds of megalitres of acidic water into an internationally protected river, Blesbokspruit.

As a result water in Blesbokspruit had low pH levels and contained high levels of iron and suspended particles, said department of water’s quality director, Marius Keet.

"They are pumping out 180 megalitres through their reactor per day without treating it and this gets dumped into the river," said Keet.

The charges against Aurora Empowerment Systems included contravening its water licence agreement, failure to adhere to a departmental directive, and failure to treat excess water before dumping it into the wetland.

Keet said the directors of mining companies which contravened their licence agreement could be held directly responsible and if found guilty, they could face a five year jail term or a R1-million fine.

At this stage, however, the charges had been brought against Aurora's management and not the directors themselves. However, Keet said the department did inspections on a regular basis and that it is after critical steps taken that the department decided to lay criminal charges.

Speaking of Aurora Empowerment Systems’ behavior, Keet said: "For them to treat their water for one or two days is not good enough. They have to do it permanently," he said.
He, however, could not say what direction the case would take.

"We will have to wait and see what the National Prosecuting Authority decides on," he said.
Aurora director, Thulani Ngubane, said the company had not received any formal notification of the charges.

"It is all speculation. We are only reading it in the newspapers ourselves," he said. - IOL

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Tags: Zuma   Mandela   Aurora  

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