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Apartheid Victims File U.S. Suit

November 13, 2002|From Times Wire Services

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A support group for victims of apartheid has filed suit in the U.S. against 20 global companies for allegedly encouraging human rights abuses by doing business with the racist regime.

The suit names firms that include IBM, Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell, plus Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS, and Citigroup, the largest financial institution in the U.S. It does not specify how much in damages was sought, but a spokesman for the plaintiffs said it was in the billions of dollars.

"The corporations ... made massive profits while the suffering of the victims of apartheid intensified," the Khulumani victims' rights group and anti-debt campaigners Jubilee South Africa said in a joint statement.

The suit was filed in Brooklyn federal court Monday. Several of the companies it named called the suit groundless.

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