Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apartheid "Victims"' Case in US Court

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Jan 11, 2010 11:37 PM | By NIVASHNI NAIR

A landmark case to decide whether several multinational corporations that operated in South Africa during apartheid were in cahoots with the government of the time began in New York.

Mpho Masemola and 24 others want German carmaker Daimler and four other companies, IBM, Ford, General Motors and the German industrial and defence group RheinMetall, to pay for their alleged role in human rights abuses committed by the apartheid regime.

Masemola has a bullet lodged in his head after he was shot by the police in 1985. He holds the companies liable for missing out on an education and employment because of his injury, as well as torture he endured during his imprisonment on Robben Island.

Masemola and his co-plaintiffs claim that RheinMetall provided equipment and logistical support to security forces, who carried out assassinations and attacks on black townships during apartheid.

IBM and Fujitsu are being hauled before court because they supplied the computer systems which the apartheid victims claim enabled the pass laws which prohibited the movement of non-white people.

The case is being heard in New York under the Alien Tort Claims Act, which allows non-US citizens to bring civil suits against companies who are also trading in the US.

The case has received the attention of former education minister Kader Asmal.

Asmal has backed the five firms as a friend of the court.

The former minister, together with 15 academics, penned their names to a legal document supporting the request for dismissal.

"A corporation lacks the qualities of a moral conscience. Corporate liability does not exist because moral condemnation can only be imposed on natural persons," they said.

Asmal told The Times' sister newspaper, Sowetan, that he supported a dismissal because "this is a matter for South Africa to deal with, not for the American courts".

His wife, Louise, answered his cellphone, saying Asmal had nothing to say.

2 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Bushmen should sue boat builders in the Netherlands for bringing the Dutch to Cape Town, this bullshit could go on forever, everbody is looking for a fucking handout for there hardship, I say suck it up kaffir and get on with your life. It doesn't matter how bad you've had it, I can tell you, you will always find someone who's had it worse and that person is getting on with it, and making the best of what they have.

Anonymous said...

Tort Law is DANGEROUS and completely ineffective. A whole lot of people get together and sue a company. The company agrees to a payout. The sue-ees agree the payout is in full and final settlement of all obligations by the company towards them. Every-one walks away. 10 years later people are dying from complications and medical bills they cannot afford and try to sue for relief BUT they have already sued and settled. So "REAL" victims get fucked over by their greedy "FAKE" victims.

It is all bullshit.

If IBM did not supply we would have got them elsewhere. If Merc didn't supply we would have got them elsewhere.

Rheinmetal make some very FINE pieces of equipment and merely supplied technology for gun barrels (not rifle barrels). A gun is BLOODY big and cannot be "used" in a township unless you are interested in wholesale ethnic cleansing. A rifle is different. That technology comes from Israel and Musgrave (locally developed - some of the best rifle barrels ever made) and Armscor.

This is merely another attempt by the useless indegenes to get the whites to pay for their KAKSLEGHIED.


While there may be some casual links to the regime it should be simple to prove that the technology could easily have been acquired elsewhere.

Oh Ja... You don't need a IBM mainframe to implement a pass-law. The fact that you need a passbook (with your ID, address, allowable location etc - written in it) is as clear as the black skin on your face. No-one needed an IBM to tell the police who needed a "stoepa".