GUPTAS’ OPTIMUM MINE FACES COURT ACTION & THREATS OF A ‘RADICAL DEMONSTRATION’
HENDRINA - Eyewitness News has learnt that Optimum coal mine is now being taken to court by another mining company in an effort to have the Gupta-owned mine either placed in business rescue or liquidated.
Optimum mine owes service providers over R60 million.
Derko Mining and Exploration has filed court papers in the High Court in Pretoria.
About 2,000 workers downed tools at the Hendrina-based mine in Mpumalanga on Wednesday worried that they wouldn’t receive their salaries.
Derko mining is seeking recourse from the courts to have money paid to them.
Optimum has been given five days to file notice to oppose the matter and if Optimum fails to do this, the case will be enrolled to be heard on 27 February.
Cleaning, transportation and other service providers have not been paid by Optimum.
Workers are hoping to be paid on Friday. However, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has threatened to intensify its protest if the mine fails to pay employees by Friday midnight.
The mine’s COO has told workers, who briefly demonstrated outside the mine on Thursday, that he is not sure if they will be paid on Friday.
“Bank of Baroda delays changing these dollars into rand so that I can get local currencies to pay.”
NUM branch chair Goodwill Mthombeni says the mine should brace itself for a more radical demonstration.
“People are being provoked now following the response by the COO. We believe what will happen tomorrow will be more than what has happened before.”
Source – Eyewitness News