Companies face apartheid accusations

US lawyer Ed Fagan is expected to file a new $100 billion lawsuit in New York against at least five companies, which stand accused of defrauding South African workers during the apartheid era.

    Many companies that operated in South Africa are paying for complicity with the apartheid regime

    Amongst the indicted companies is giant South African finance group Alexander Forbes, John Ngcebetsha, the South African lawyer representing the claimants, told AFP.

    “The claims will be filed on behalf of workers who deposited money into pension, health, life, unemployment and retirement funds, and never received a cent back from these companies,” Ngcebetsha said.
      
    “Some of these workers have been waiting for more than 10 years, many of them without jobs,” he said.

    Union Carbide

    Other companies listed in the lawsuit include Union Carbide Corp. and Dow Chemical Co. They are accused of defrauding workers of billions of dollars.
      
    The suit was filed against “the plaintiff facilities in and around the Republic of South Africa who deposited billions of dollars in pension, health, life unemployment and retirement funds which were later negligently, carelessly or recklessly unaccounted
    for, improperly transferred, withheld, lost or stolen.”
      
    The Apartheid Claims Task Force in May announced plans to file a lawsuit worth billions of dollars in New York against South African gold mining company Gold Fields for making blacks work under “sub-human” conditions during the apartheid regime.
      
    Fagan has also said he plans to file suits against Swiss and US banks, pharmaceutical conglomerates, car manufacturers, food giant Nestle and mining companies De Beers and Anglo American, among others, on the grounds that they benefited under the apartheid regime.

    SOURCE: AFP


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