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4 Mar 2011

Lionel Faull, Mail & Guardian

‘An incredible disregard for human life’

Eighteen ex-mineworkers from the President Steyn gold mine in the Free State are taking Anglo American to court, claiming they developed a combination of respiratory infections, including silicosis and tuberculosis, from prolonged underground exposure to silica dust since the late 1970s…The 18 test cases have been selected to best represent the circumstances of tens of thousands of other ex-mineworkers who -- if their litigation against Anglo American South Africa (AASA) is successful -- could also claim damages from other companies in the mining industry…Unlike ex-mineworker Thembekile Mankayi whose case against AngloGold Ashanti also for silicosis was concluded in the Constitutional Court this week, the 18 ex-mineworkers are litigating against a parent company, not a direct employer, but their arguments are similar...Anglo American South Africa does not believe that it is in any way liable.