Thursday, October 7, 2004

Should business pay for apartheid?

Should business pay for apartheid?
Jon Robins wrote an interesting article in The Times recently, the article begins, "WHAT responsibility does IBM have for South Africans beaten and tortured under apartheid? A connection might not be apparent but Michael Hausfeld, an American lawyer, is arguing that there is one. The computer giant is one of 20 multinationals (including British ones such as Barclays Bank) being sued via the US courts under an arcane 18th-century statute for their role in supporting a racist regime. Last week Hausfeld, who was a leading lawyer in the legal action against the Swiss banks for Holocaust survivors, filed an amicus brief -or legal opinion -in a New York court on behalf of the Khulumani Support Group (the name means "speak out" in Zulu). "The decisions made by this court will shape the future of human rights litigation," he argues. "They will reverberate beyond the courthouse walls to the ears of officials and private (citizens) across the world." To read more of this article visit The Times Law Page, click on the link down the page and register. It is free and easy.