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Lawsuit

Apartheid reparations lawsuits (re So. Africa)

Status: CLOSED

Incident date
June 17, 2002
Unknown
Location of Filing: United States of America
Location of Incident: South Africa
Company: Anglo American
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Altria
Company Sector:
Company: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Company Sector: Agriculture & livestock
Company Location: United States of America
Company: ABN Amro
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Netherlands
Company: Absa
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Zambia
Company: AngloGold Ashanti
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: South Africa
Company: Allianz
Company Sector: Insurance
Company Location: Germany
Company: Alstom
Company Sector: Diversified/Conglomerates
Company Location: France
Company: Arab Bank
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Israel
Company: African Rainbow Minerals
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: South Africa
Company: AirScan
Company Sector:
Company: Atlas Copco
Company Sector: Machine & machine tools
Company Location: Sweden
Company: Amanco (part of Mexichem)
Company Sector: Building materials & equipment, Construction machinery & vehicles
Company Location: Mexico
Company: BHP
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: Australia
Company: BP
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Company Sector: Pharmaceutical
Company Location: United States of America
Company: British American Tobacco
Company Sector: Tobacco
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Bank of America
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Barclays
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Burger King
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Brylane (formerly part of Pinault Printemps-Redoute now Kering)
Company Sector: Clothing & textile
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Bull (part of Atos)
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: France
Company: Blackwater
Company Sector: Security companies
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Bridgestone
Company Sector: Tire
Company Location: Japan
Company: Bridgestone-Firestone (part of Bridgestone)
Company Sector:
Company: Cambior
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: Canada
Company: Cisco Systems
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Coca-Cola
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Citigroup
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Chiquita
Company Sector: Agriculture & livestock
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Caterpillar
Company Sector: Construction machinery & vehicles
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Cargill
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Colgate-Palmolive
Company Sector:
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Caltex
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Australia
Company: Crédit Agricole
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: France
Company: Crédit Commercial de France
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: France
Company: Computer Sciences (CSC)
Company Sector:
Company Location: United States of America
Company: CACI
Company Sector: Military/defence
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Commerzbank
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Germany
Company: Crédit Lyonnais (part of Crédit Agricole)
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: France
Company: Credit Suisse
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Switzerland
Company: Coca-Cola FEMSA
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: Mexico
Company: Chevron
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Cape PLC
Company Sector:
Company: DuPont
Company Sector: Chemical: General
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Drummond
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Dole
Company Sector: Agriculture & livestock
Company Location: United States of America
Company: De Beers (part of Anglo American)
Company Sector: Diamond
Company Location: South Africa
Company: Deutsche Bank
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Germany
Company: Dow Chemical
Company Sector: Chemical: General
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Del Monte Foods
Company Sector: Agriculture & livestock
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Danzer
Company Sector: Logging & lumber
Company Location: Germany
Company: Dresdner Bank (part of Allianz)
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Germany
Company: DynCorp
Company Sector: Military/defence
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Daimler AG
Company Sector: Automobile & other motor vehicles
Company Location: Germany
Company: DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler)
Company Sector: Automobile & other motor vehicles
Company Location: Germany
Company: Ericsson
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: Sweden
Company: ExxonMobil
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Electrolux
Company Sector: Electrical appliance
Company Location: Sweden
Company: Éxito [part of Groupe Casino]
Company Sector:
Company: Ford
Company Sector: Automobile & other motor vehicles
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Fluor
Company Sector: Construction, Engineering
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Fresh Del Monte Produce
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Fujitsu
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: Japan
Company: General Electric (GE)
Company Sector: Diversified/Conglomerates
Company Location: United States of America
Company: General Motors
Company Sector: Automobile & other motor vehicles
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Gap
Company Sector: Clothing & textile
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Gold Fields
Company Sector: Metals & steel, Mining
Company Location: South Africa
Company: Goldman Sachs
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Google (part of Alphabet)
Company Sector: Internet & social media
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Gulf Oil LP
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Grupo México
Company Sector: Construction, Mining, Railroad, Engineering
Company Location: Mexico
Company: Gencor (mining)
Company Sector:
Company: Gallaher
Company Sector:
Company: Honeywell
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: United States of America
Company: HSBC
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Holcim (part of LafargeHolcim)
Company Sector: Building materials & equipment
Company Location: Switzerland
Company: HP (Hewlett-Packard)
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Heineken
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: Netherlands
Company: Harmony Gold
Company Sector:
Company: Hudbay Minerals
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: Canada
Company: IBM
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: United States of America
Company: IKEA
Company Sector: Retail
Company Location: Sweden
Company: Imperial Tobacco
Company Sector:
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: ICL Plastics
Company Sector:
Company: Isuzu
Company Sector:
Company: JPMorgan Chase
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United States of America
Company: KFC (part of YUM!)
Company Sector:
Company: Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR)
Company Sector: Engineering, Security companies
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Kraft Foods (now Kraft Heinz)
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Levi Strauss
Company Sector: Clothing & textile
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Lundin Petroleum
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Sweden
Company: L-3 Communications
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: United States of America
Company: L-3 Titan (part of L-3 Communications)
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Merck
Company Sector: Pharmaceutical
Company Location: Germany
Company: Mitsubishi Group
Company Sector: Food & beverage, Chemical: General, Electrical appliance, Finance & banking, Mining, Technology, telecom & electronics, Transport: General
Company Location: Japan
Company: McDonald's
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Microsoft
Company Sector: Internet & social media
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Monsanto (part of Bayer)
Company Sector: Agriculture & livestock
Company Location: United States of America
Company: MTN
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: South Africa
Company: Mobil Oil (part of ExxonMobil)
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE)
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Myanmar
Company: Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler)
Company Sector: Automobile & other motor vehicles
Company Location: Germany
Company: Merrill Lynch (part of Bank of America)
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Mexichem
Company Sector:
Company: Nestlé
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: Switzerland
Company: Novartis
Company Sector: Pharmaceutical
Company Location: Switzerland
Company: Nike
Company Sector: Clothing & textile, Footwear
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Northern Foods
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: NatWest (part of Royal Bank of Scotland)
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: National Australia Bank
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Australia
Company: Nevsun (part of Zijin Mining)
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: Canada
Company: Occidental Petroleum
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Occidental Chemical (part of Occidental Petroleum)
Company Sector:
Company: 3M
Company Sector: Diversified/Conglomerates
Company Location: United States of America
Company: PepsiCo
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Pfizer
Company Sector: Pharmaceutical
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Pemex
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Mexico
Company: Philip Morris USA (part of Altria)
Company Sector:
Company Location: United States of America
Company: PTT
Company Sector:
Company Location: Thailand
Company: Petroecuador
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Ecuador
Company: Panamco
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: Mexico
Company: Kering (formerly PPR, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute)
Company Sector: Clothing & textile, Luggage, backpacks & bags
Company Location: France
Company: Phelps Dodge (part of Freeport-McMoRan)
Company Sector:
Company: Pavco (part of Mexichem)
Company Sector:
Company: Rio Tinto
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Rabobank
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Netherlands
Company: Royal Bank of Scotland
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Rheinmetall
Company Sector:
Company Location: Germany
Company: Royal Dutch Shell (Shell)
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Netherlands
Company: Standard Chartered
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Sasol
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: South Africa
Company: Standard Bank
Company Sector: Finance & banking, Insurance
Company Location: South Africa
Company: Swiss Re
Company Sector: Insurance
Company Location: Switzerland
Company: Schindler
Company Sector:
Company: SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer)
Company Sector:
Company Location: France
Company: SKF
Company Sector:
Company: Southern Copper (part of Grupo México)
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Talisman (part of Repsol)
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Canada
Company: Tate & Lyle
Company Sector:
Company: Total
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: France
Company: Thor Chemicals
Company Sector:
Company: Target
Company Sector: Retail
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Trafigura Beheer
Company Sector: Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: Netherlands
Company: ThyssenKrupp
Company Sector:
Company Location: Germany
Company: Texaco (part of Chevron)
Company Sector:
Company: Titan (now L-3 Titan)
Company Sector:
Company: UBS
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: Switzerland
Company: Unisys
Company Sector:
Company: Union Carbide (part of Dow)
Company Sector: Chemical: General
Company: Unocal (part of Chevron)
Company Sector:
Company: Volkswagen
Company Sector: Automobile & other motor vehicles
Company Location: Germany
Company: Veolia (formerly Vivendi Environnement)
Company Sector: Energy, Waste disposal, Water companies
Company Location: France
Company: Vedanta Resources
Company Sector: Metals & steel, Oil, gas & coal
Company Location: United Kingdom
Company: Walt Disney
Company Sector: Entertainment
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Walmart
Company Sector: Retail
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Xerox
Company Sector: Office equipment
Company Location: United States of America
Company: YUM!
Company Sector: Food & beverage
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Yahoo! (part of Verizon)
Company Sector: Internet & social media
Company Location: United States of America
Company: ERAMET
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: France
Company: African Barrick Gold (now Acacia)
Company Sector:
Company: Nexa Technologies (formerly AMESys (Advanced Middle East Systems)/Amesys (part of Bull))
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: France
Company: Lonrho
Company Sector:
Company: Tahoe Resources (part of Pan American Silver)
Company Sector: Mining
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Neumann Gruppe
Company Sector: Agriculture & livestock
Company Location: Germany
Company: Firestone Natural Rubber (part of Bridgestone)
Company Sector: Rubber
Company Location: United States of America
Company: J.P. Morgan (part of JPMorgan Chase)
Company Sector: Finance & banking
Company Location: United States of America
Company: Qosmos
Company Sector: Technology, telecom & electronics
Company Location: France
Company: Veolia Transport (now Transdev)
Company Sector:
Company Location: France
Company: Compagnie Minière de l'Ogooué (COMILOG) (part of ERAMET)
Company Sector:
Company: Kaweri (part of Neumann Gruppe)
Company Sector:
Company: Argor-Heraeus
Company Sector:

Sources

In 2002 a group of South Africans, represented by the Khulumani Support Group, sued 20 banks and corporations in US federal court that did business in South Africa during apartheid.  The plaintiffs allege that the participation of the defendant companies in key industries during the apartheid era was influential in encouraging and furthering abuses against black Africans during that time.  The plaintiffs are victims of human rights abuses such as extrajudicial killings, torture and rape, and they allege that the defendants’ activities in South Africa during the apartheid era made them complicit in the commission of those abuses. 

The South African Government was opposed to this lawsuit, and it filed documentation with both the district court and appeals court publicly stating its position regarding the case.  A federal district court judge granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in November 2004.  The plaintiffs appealed this dismissal in August of 2005.  In October of 2007, the appeals court reversed the lower court's dismissal of this case and remanded the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.  On 10 January 2008, the defendant companies petitioned the US Supreme Court for certiorari, asking the court to hear their appeal of the October 2007 decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  In May 2008, the US Supreme Court declared that it could not intervene in this case because four of the nine justices had to recuse themselves for apparent conflicts.  Lacking the required quorum, the Supreme Court had no option but to uphold the decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals allowing the lawsuit to proceed.  On 8 April 2009, the federal district court issued a ruling in this case.  The judge's ruling narrowed the claims in the case but allowed the case to continue against Daimler, Ford, General Motors, IBM and Rheinmetall Group.  In September 2009, the South African Government announced its support of the lawsuit, withdrawing its previous opposition to the case. 

The South African Justice Minister sent a letter to the District Court judge informing her that the government believes the court to be the appropriate forum to decide this case.  In August 2013 the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit returned the case to the lower court and recommended dismissing the case, citing the US Supreme Court's limitation on extraterritorial application of the Alien Tort Claims Act in Kiobel v. Shell.  On 26 December 2013 the lower court issued an order dismissing Daimler and Rheinmetall from the case, but the court declined to dismiss the claims against IBM and Ford. In April 2014, the lower court ruled the plaintiffs could amend their complaints against Ford and IBM to provide evidence that the companies' activities "touch and concern" the territory of the United States. The judge said that in order to overcome the presumption against extraterritoriality set forth in Kiobel, the plaintiffs must show corporate presence plus additional factors. On 29 August 2014, the lower court judge dismissed the case finding that the plaintiffs had not shown a sufficient connection with the United States to warrant the case being heard in US court.  On 27 July 2015, the court of appeals upheld the lower court's dismissal of the case. On 20 June, the US Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal, of a lower court decision holding that the plaintiffs had failed to show a sufficiently close connection between IBM and Ford’s actions in the US and human rights abuses by the apartheid government.

On 27 February 2012, the plaintiffs reached a settlement with General Motors.

- "U.S. top court declines to revive apartheid claims against IBM, Ford", Lawrence Hurley, Reuters, 20 Jun 2016
- "Ford, IBM defeat appeal over apartheid abuses - U.S. court", Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, 27 Jul 2015
- "Apartheid corporate lawsuit dismissed", Reuters, 29 Aug 2014
- "U.S. judge dismisses apartheid claims against 2 German companies", Nate Raymond, Reuters, 27 Dec 2013
- "High Court Decision Cited in Rejection of Apartheid Liability", Brendan Pierson, New York Law Journal, 22 Aug 2013 
- "US General Motors settles apartheid reparations claim", Adrian Ephraim, Mail & Guardian, 29 Feb 2012
- "State supports apartheid-era victims", Christelle Terreblanche, Cape Times [So. Africa], 3 Sep 2009
- "Judge Narrows Claims in Apartheid Torts Case Against Multinational Companies", Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal, 9 Apr 2009
- "Court won't block U.S. lawsuit by apartheid victims", Mark Sherman, Associated Press, 12 May 2008
- “US court allows apartheid claims to go forward”, Paritosh Bansal, Reuters, 12 Oct 2007
- “Apartheid Victims Sue Global Corporations”, Alison Raphael, OneWorld US, 13 Nov 2002

- South African Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeffrey Radebe: [PDF] Letter to Judge Shira Scheindlin regarding In Re South African Apartheid Litigation, 1 Sep 2009
- South African Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Dr. P M Maduna: [PDF] Declaration of Minister Maduna to US District Court Judge Spizzo, 11 Jul 2003

- South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma: [PDF] Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell Re Apartheid Litigation, 16 May 2002

- Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP (plaintiffs’ co-counsel): case summary (includes links to legal briefs filed in this case)
- Hausfeld LLP (plaintiffs' co-counsel):  Khulumani v. Barclays National Bank Ltd. - Info Center
- Khulumani Support Group (plaintiffs): Khulumani Lawsuit in New York
- Khulumani Support Group: US Circuit Court dismisses apartheid litigation, 22 Aug 2013

- [PDF] Balintulo v. Ford, IBM, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 27 Jul 2015 [order affirmng lower court's dismissal]
- [PDF] In re South African Apartheid Litigation, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 29 Aug 2014 [order dismissing the lawsuit]
- [PDF] In re South African Apartheid Litigation, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 26 Dec 2013 [order dismissing Daimler & Rheinmetall from case]
- [PDF] Balintulo v. Daimler AG, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 21 Aug 2013
- [PDF] American Isuzu Motors, Inc., et al. v. Lungisile Ntsebeza, et al. - Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners, 11 Feb 2008 [brief of in support of dismissal of lawsuit]
- [PDF] American Isuzu Motors Inc. et al. v. Ntsebeza et al. - Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, 10 Jan 2008 [petition filed by the defendant companies at US Supreme Court]
- US District Court for the Southern District of New York: [PDF] In re South African Apartheid Litigation, 8 Apr 2009
- US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: [PDF] Khulumani v. Barclay National Bank, Ltd., 12 Oct 2007

Case Timeline

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