6th Floor South African Human Rights Commission, 14h30, July 28, 2009
U S attorneys, Steig Olson and Ingrid Gubbay, partners in the Hausfeld law firm that focuses on "Justice for Historical Crimes", and representatives of the "Khulumani" plaintiffs in the South Africa Apartheid Litigation, will hold a press conference at the offices of the South African Human Rights Commission in Johannesburg tomorrow afternoon (July 28) at 14h30 following a public seminar on Justice for Apartheid Crimes and the role of the "Khulumani lawsuit" in advancing international human rights law.
The lawsuit has seen recent significant breakthroughs following the decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in October 2007 to send the case back to the District Court for plaintiffs to be given the chance to prove their case in court. The demonstration that such cases are viable has been the most significant advance in international human rights law to date.
A further signal of the turning of the tide was the groundbreaking opinion issued by Judge Shira Scheindlin on April 8, 2009 that corporations can be found responsible for aiding and abetting human rights abuses that violate customary international law through their relationships with rogue governments. She also asserted that the litigation importantly would contribute to the ongoing processes of truth recovery about apartheid, its causes and effects and who might be found to bear responsibility.
Scheindlin's opinion has put corporations around the world on notice that they "can be held accountable for contributing to human rights abuses around the globe."
Further information is available from:
Marjorie Jobson, Director, Khulumani Support Group: 082 268 0223
Tshepo Madlingozi, National Advocacy Coordinator: 082 496 9914
Charles Abrahams, Attorney for Khulumani plaintiffs: 082 560 7152