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Working group statements

Companies argue for leave to appeal judgment of South Gauteng High Court

Sustainable settlement remains a priority

Johannesburg, 23 June 2016 - The Occupational Lung Disease Working Group, made up of African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye Gold, remains of the view that achieving a mutually acceptable comprehensive settlement which is both fair to past, present and future employees, and sustainable for the sector, is preferable to protracted litigation. Notwithstanding that the companies deny liability for the claims, the Working Group will continue with its efforts – which have been ongoing for more than a year – to find common ground with stakeholders, including the claimants’ legal representatives.

While the companies’ legal teams are today arguing individual applications to appeal against the class certification judgment handed down by the South Gauteng High Court on 13 May 2016, the Working Group does not believe that the legal processes should delay these efforts to find a fair and sustainable settlement.

The judgment addresses a number of highly complex and important issues, including a far reaching amendment of the common law, that have not previously been considered by other courts in South Africa. The Court itself found that the scope and magnitude of the proposed claims is unprecedented in South Africa and that the class action would address novel and complex issues of fact and law. The companies are applying for leave to appeal because they believe that the court’s ruling on some of these issues is incorrect and that another court may come to a different decision.

For further information contact:

Alan Fine
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T: +27 (0) 11 880 3924
M: +27 (0) 83 250 0757

Marika Muller
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T: +27 (0) 11 880 3924
M: +27 (0) 72 635 9262