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1 Sep 2008

Charles Abrahams, Abrahams Kiewitz Attorneys (So. Africa)

Corporate legal accountability for human rights abuses in South Africa

…The [2002]…Report of the Reparations & Rehabilitation Committee…found that major corporations in the extractive industry generally benefited financially and materially from…apartheid…One of the legacies…that persists…is the desperate situation of ex-gold mineworkers who…were repatriated home by mining corporations when they sustained serious injuries or contracted the deadly silicosis disease or pulmonary-tuberculosis…Plaintiffs…are impoverished…and do not have the financial means to bring cases…before South African courts…[P]ublic interest lawyers who…take on these cases generally come from very small law practices…Law firms acting on behalf of big mining corporations are…well endowed with infrastructure, resources and capacity…[and] have the ability to obtain the services of the best legal counsel...[Therefore] the Bill of Rights…is severely hamstrung by the equality of arms that millions…lack in order to redress the huge socio-economic imbalance that still to this day persists in South Africa as a result of apartheid. [Also refers to Anglo American Corporation, AngloGold Ashanti]

Part of the following timelines

Apartheid Entschädigungsklagen (bez. Südafrika)

AngloGold Ashanti silicosis lawsuit (So. Africa)