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Lawsuit

24 Jul 2007

Author:
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Anglo Platinum lawsuit (re displacement in So. Africa)

Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
24 Jul 2007
Unknown
Location of Filing: France
Location of Incident: South Africa

Companies

Anglo American United Kingdom Mining
Anglo Platinum (part of Anglo American) South Africa Metals & steel

Sources

Snapshot: On 24 July 2007, over 100 residents of the Mohlohlo Community filed a lawsuit in South Africa against Potgietersrust Platinum (subsidiary of Anglo Platinum) and nine other defendants, including the South African Government. The plaintiffs sought an injunction prohibiting Anglo Platinum from interfering with the residents’ land rights in an area where they were expanding their mining activities. The plaintiffs sought to set aside the relocation agreement Anglo Platinum made with Section 21 companies – entities which were supposed to represent the interests of the individuals being resettled.

On 24 July 2007, over 100 residents of Ga Puka and Ga Sekhaolelo (the Mohlohlo Community) filed a lawsuit in the High Court Transvaal Provincial Division, against Potgietersrust Platinum's Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglo Platinum on and nine other defendants (including the South African Government).  The plaintiffs sought an injunction prohibiting Anglo Platinum from interfering with the residents’ land rights in an area where they were expanding their mining activities.  The plaintiffs sought to set aside the relocation agreement Anglo Platinum made with Section 21 companies – entities which were supposed to represent the interests of the individuals being resettled.

The plaintiffs alleged that: the Section 21 companies were not independent and under the influence of Anglo Platinum; Anglo Platinum forcibly relocated residents; and individual householders signed relocation agreements under duress.  The plaintiffs further alleged that Anglo Platinum did not comply with the terms of the relocation agreement.  The court denied the plaintiffs the requested injunction, and the case was dismissed.

Following a 2008 report published by Action Aid on the situation in Limpopo, the South African Human Rights Commission investigated the human rights impact of Anglo Platinum’s mining activity in region and issued a report late 2008 with recommendations for the company.  This investigation was the first time the commission examined the human rights impact of a company’s activities.

- “SAHRC finding highlights issues of community relocation to make way for mining”, Dennis Ndaba, Mining Weekly, 16 Jan 2009
- “Platinum miner defends its position on human rights abuse allegations”, Darren Parker, Mining Weekly, 5 Dec 2008
- “Anglo Plats to meet human rights commission over platinum mine farm relocations”, Tessa Kruger, Mineweb, 27 Mar 2008
- “South African Tribe Summonses Anglo Platinum, Others”, Chantelle Benjamin, Resource Investor, 27 Jul 2007
- “Statement and Demands of the Ga-Puka and Ga-Sekhaoleo (Mohlohlo) Development Committees”, Mines and Communities, 11 Jun 2007
- “Angloplat faces lawsuit threat over removals”, Resource Investor, 29 May 2007

- Anglo Platinum: Anglo Platinum Responds to Resettlement Allegations, 25 Mar 2008
- Action Aid: [PDF] Precious Metal: The impact of Anglo Platinum on poor communities in Limpopo, South Africa, Mar 2008
- Richard Spoor [counsel for plaintiffs]: Action instituted against Anglo Platinum over forced removals at Mohlohlo, Plaintiffs’ Press Release, 25 Jul 2007

- South African Human Rights Commission: [PDF] Mining-related observations and recommendations: Anglo Platinum, affected communities and other stakeholders, in and around the PPL Mine, Limpopo, Nov 2008

Timeline