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19 Aug 2015

Ahmed Areff, News24 (So. Africa)

So. Africa: NGOs apply to be friends of the court in silicosis class action suit against mining companies

'NGOs apply to intervene in possible gold mine class action suit', 20 Aug 2015: The High Court in Johannesburg will hear an application by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Sonke Gender Justice…[seeking leave] to intervene as amicus curiae (friends of the court) in a possible class action suit against South African gold mines… “For decades, gold mines have treated their workers as inferior human beings and shown a shocking disregard for the[ir] health…” TAC general secretary Anele Yawa said…[T]he High Court…will hear argument on whether the case should be permitted to proceed as a "class action"…"It is the view of Sonke and…TAC that should the court decline to certify the class, it would effectively leave thousands of people without access to justice…because they do not have the resources to access courts through any other means..."…The NGOs made the application to intervene as amicus curiae to "raise important legal arguments…" Yawa said. "…the court must take into account the Constitutionally guaranteed rights…[to] healthcare, bodily integrity and dignity."…