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12 Sep 2004

Jon Robins, Financial Times

Apartheid haunts business

Mr Fagan, who made his name suing Swiss banks on behalf of Holocaust survivors, is seeking [in US courts] $20bn (£11bn) in reparations from companies that, he argues, supported apartheid. They include the UK banks NatWest, Barclays and Standard Chartered...In November 2002, Michael Hausfeld, a US lawyer, filed a law suit in New York on their behalf against 20 multinational corporations for “knowingly aiding and abetting the apartheid enterprise”. International Business Machines, for example, is charged with supplying computers that enabled the government to create the hated “pass book” system that required all black people, banned from the streets in white areas after dark, to carry passes.