Former South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk has advised Swiss banks to fight the legal action launched against them by victims of apartheid, in an interview to be published on Thursday.
Abstracts from article:
"The actions launched against the Swiss banks are completely unjustified," de Klerk told the Swiss weekly Weltwoche. De Klerk, the last South African leader to preside over the country's former segregationist regime, dismissed the claim that investments from Swiss banks helped to prolong apartheid.
"It wasn't sanctions or the withdrawal of international companies that ended apartheid but rather the economic growth of the 1960s and 70s," he said. De Klerk said foreign investors had contributed to the demise of apartheid by encouraging the country's growth.
United States attorney Michael Hausfeld last week filed a lawsuit in New York against 20 companies including Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse Group, accusing them of extending financial support to South Africa in breach of a UN embargo against the apartheid regime. Three similar suits have also been filed by another lawyer, Ed Fagan.
- Source: Full article "De Klerk urges banks to fight apartheid lawsuits" appeared on the Independant Online iol.co.za website