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Khulumani Lawsuit re-opens in New York on September 25, 2008

Several public demonstrations are being planned throughout the country to coincide with the opening of the case on 25 September 2008. The briefing will also highlight the public dialogue which will be held on 25 September 2008 at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto. This public discussion will create a space for dialogue between plaintiffs, human rights movements and the public at large to engage with the important issues which are raised by this lawsuit and the unfinished business of the TRC.

 
 

Press Briefing to be held on Monday, September 22, 2008 11:00 – 13:00 Braamfontein Recreation Centre H Floor (Squash Court) cnr Harrison & Juta Streets, Braamfontein

Shirley Gunn

“These companies (23 multinationals) were under no illusion what was happening in South Africa, and yet they continued to assist it in their pursuit of profit. Without petrol to drive the tanks, police trucks and planes, without the technology to run computers, without the guns and bullets and finance to pay for it, apartheid could not have survived.” - Shirley Gunn (left), Khulumani Board Member

Khulumani Support Group (KSG), a national membership-based organisation of victims and survivors of Apartheid-era gross human rights violations is holding a Press Briefing on Monday, September 22, 2008 to highlight the re-opening of the historic lawsuit in a New York District Court on 25 September 2008.

The Khulumani lawsuit targets 23 foreign multinationals for having aided and abetted the perpetration of gross human rights violations in South Africa under apartheid by equipping and financing the government's military and security agencies. Khulumani's case involves the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 18th century statute that provides for cases to be brought against individuals or companies in US courts provided these ‘juristic persons' have a presence in the US.

The Khulumani lawsuit has been brought in the name of 87 plaintiffs, from all corners of South Africa, and in the name of the organisation itself. The case include four categories of gross human rights violations: disappearances, arbitrary and prolonged detention without trial, assault and injury, and extra-judicial killings.

A brief statement will be read on behalf of Michael Hausfeld, the lawyer acting for Khulumani in the lawsuit. Additionally, we will highlight the history of the lawsuit and its importance for setting clear global standards for ethical corporate behaviour and for pursuing the Unfinished Business of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) , specifically the need for rehabilitation of persons who have been sustained lifelong harm from the human rights violations which they endured.

Several public demonstrations are being planned throughout the country to coincide with the opening of the case on 25 September 2008. The briefing will also highlight the public dialogue which will be held on 25 September 2008 at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto. This public discussion will create a space for dialogue between plaintiffs, human rights movements and the public at large to engage with the important issues which are raised by this lawsuit and the unfinished business of the TRC.

In attendance at Press Briefing will be: Plaintiffs; Dr. Marjorie Jobson, Director (Acting), Khulumani Support Group; George Dor, Jubilee South Africa; Professor Shadrack Gutto, Director, Centre for African Renaissance Studies

Inquiries: KSG Media Advocacy Coordinator Adv. Sipho Mantula 084 781 5587 or KSG Director (Acting), Dr Marjorie Jobson 082 268 0223.

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