South Africa

Apartheid Lawsuit Contested by Multi-national Companies. (BBC)

Multi- national companies in the US are seeking to dismiss a case of their role in apartheid- era South Africa. The multi-national companies include IBM, General Motors and Daimler. A US court heard the appeal but the companies are doubtful if the court has the power to hear a case that did not take place in the United States. The lawsuit was brought against the companies several years ago by black victims of white minority rule.

The case brought against the Multi-national companies is that they in violated human rights by helping the then apartheid South African government. Lawyers for the plaintiff are asking for up to $400 billion compensation. A US court last year said the case against the companies could go on in the US due to an old law under the Alien Tort Claims Act which allowed foreigners to sue in the US courts. A spokesperson for the German automaker said the charges were inadmissible and unfounded. Former president Thabo Mbeki opposed the lawsuit on grounds that is will deter foreign investors from coming into the country. As the case is gaining ground again, it is unclear what the present governments take will be.