In 2002, the Khulumani Support Group filed a lawsuit against 23 foreign corporations that knowingly provided assistance to the apartheid government in the form of arms and ammunition, military technology, transport, and fuel to the security forces. The assistance enabled the apartheid government to commit violations of International Law such as extra-judicial killings, torture, detention without trial, racial discrimination, forced labour and cruel and inhumane treatment. The Lawsuit was filed in the United States under the Alien Tort Claims Act. This law allows non-US citizens to file a case in the US if their human rights under International Law have been violated. The person or company who violated their rights must be present in the US.
In February 2009, after more than seven years of legal contestation, Judge Scheindlin gave the green light for the case to proceed against the corporations. However, of the original 23 foreign corporations, only six remain liable under the concept of Aiding and Abetting in International Law: Rheinmetall, Ford, General Motors, Daimler Chrysler, Fujitsu and IBM. The Lawsuit has received national and international support.
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Zapiro cartoon commenting on the TRC hearing and the role of business during apartheid