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Zambian victims to file class action lawsuit against Anglo American South Africa over suffering caused by lead poisoning

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30 August 2019

Anglo American faces lawsuit for poisoning Zambia's Kabwe Town

Author: African mining market

Anglo American is facing a huge class lawsuit for its past corporate practices over lead poisoning in Zambia's Kabwe town. Johannesburg-based attorneys and Mbuyisa Moleele and London-based human rights law firm Leigh Day are preparing the case and an application to certify a class action will be filed in the Johannesburg High Court.  

This is seen as a necessary first step in a class action against Anglo-American. 

Indian mining giant Vedanta Resources which the Zambian government does not want anymore, is also connected to Anglo American...

The case of lead contamination involving Anglo stems from health issues linked to Kabwe, which Leigh Day said in a statement was once the world’s largest lead mine and operated from around 1915 until its closure in 1994. The law firm said Anglo owned and operated the mine from 1925 to 1974.

However, the diversified miner argues that the operation was nationalised and has been operated by the government for two decades.

Anglo American was one of the six companies involved in the R5bn silicosis class-action case in SA brought on behalf of former gold miners made ill by inhaling silica dust...


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23 August 2019

Zambian lead poisoning victims prepare to launch class action against Anglo American South Africa

Author: Leigh Day

Kabwe was the world’s largest lead mine and operated from around 1915 until its closure in 1994. From 1925 to 1974, its most productive period, the mine was owned and operated and/or managed by Anglo American South Africa Ltd.
The mine is situated in close proximity to villages comprising around 230,000 residents. Tens of thousands of Kabwe residents are estimated to have developed high blood lead levels, mainly through ingestion of dust contaminated by emissions from the mine smelter and waste dumps. A series of published reports has found very high levels of lead in the blood of a substantial proportion of the local population, in particular very young children.

Johannesburg attorneys, Mbuyisa Moleele, in collaboration with London-based human rights law firm, Leigh Day, have been investigating the case and liaising with the local communities for the past two years. They have so far been instructed on behalf of almost 200 children who have been treated for lead poisoning. They are preparing the class action in South Africa and an application to certify a class action will be filed in the Johannesburg High Court. The purpose of the action will be to secure compensation for victims of lead poisoning, including the cost of an effective medical monitoring system for blood lead levels among the community.      
A report was published today by Human Rights Watch titled “‘We Have to Be Worried’: The Impact of Lead Contamination on Children’s Rights in Kabwe, Zambia,” which examines the effects of lead contamination in Kabwe on children’s rights to health, a healthy environment, education...


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