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Lawsuit for miners with terminal illnesses begins

Civil society organisations say they will present a strong case in a bid to fight for mineworkers and their families left destitute as a result of contracting terminal diseases when a hearing starts on Monday. The case was originally brought by former miner Bongani Nkala and 55 against others against Harmony Gold Mining Company. The Nkala case would represent thousands of gold miners from as far back as 1956…There are two class actions; one will represent current and former gold miners with silicosis and dependants of those who have died as result of the disease. The other represents current and former gold miners who have or contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and the dependants of deceased underground mineworkers who died of pulmonary tuberculosis…[Section27’s attorney] Rugege said the case would “advance the interest of justice more broadly by ensuring that judicial resources are used optimally”…“It is in the interests of justice that these common issues be decided in a single action,” she said…Tanya Charles, policy specialist at Sonke Gender Justice, said they hoped to assist thousands of miners, not only from South Africa, but from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Swaziland…

Part of the following stories

So. Africa: Lawyers for gold miners affected by silicosis to argue before Johannesburg High Court why mining companies should be held accountable

Gold miner silicosis litigation (re So. Africa)