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  • Written by  News24.com
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Government opposes reparation cases

Justice Minister Penuell Maduna on Thursday reiterated government's opposition to the apartheid reparations litigation before a New York court.
Justice Minister Penuell Maduna on Thursday reiterated government's opposition to the apartheid reparations litigation before a New York court.

The lawsuit is being brought against corporations that did business in South Africa before 1994.

Briefing the media in Parliament, Maduna said government was opposed to the action as it would place strain on South Africa's economy and cause job losses. The money to pay out victims would come from the South African economy.

"If they did win the judgment I imagine they would come back gloriously happy but we will have to raise the money from our economy. Companies here will have to shed jobs to make the money available to raise the money to make the payments."

Maduna said ultimately the claimants could win but questioned the long term costs.

"The money is not going to come from Atlanta, Georgia."

He denied that government was in settlement discussions with any of the companies named in the lawsuit. What government was doing was inviting everyone to contribute to a national reparation fund.

"The resources we rake in taxes are minuscule and we are appealing to everyone to contribute to this fund."

He said contributions should not only come from those with huge resources but from ordinary South Africans as well.

"I myself will contribute to the fund... it could be a huge campaign launched by South Africans."

In July Maduna wrote a strongly worded letter to United States District Judge John E Sprizzo, asking him to dismiss two apartheid reparations lawsuits.

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