US top court declines to revive apartheid claims against IBM, Ford


A pedestrian walks in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court rejected an appeal by a group of black South Africans seeking to revive human rights litigation aiming to hold Ford Motor Co and IBM Corp liable for allegedly conducting business that helped perpetuate racial apartheid. 

The justices left in place a 2015 ruling by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that favoured the two companies. That court decided that the plaintiffs failed to show that there was a close connection between decisions made or actions taken by Ford and IBM in the United States to killings, torture and other human rights abuses that took place in South Africa from the 1970s to early 1990s. 

Ford was accused of providing military vehicles for South African security forces and sharing information about anti-apartheid and union activists. IBM was accused of providing technology and training to perpetuate racial separation and the "denationalisation" of black South Africans. 

Apartheid refers to South Africa's former white-minority government's policy of segregating and oppressing the majority black population from 1948 to 1994. 

The plaintiffs, led by Lungisile Ntsebeza, sued more than a decade ago under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 US law that lets non-US citizens seek damages in American courts for human rights abuses abroad. 

But the US Supreme Court significantly narrowed the reach of that law in 2013, leading US District Judge Shira Scheindlin in 2014 to dismiss the South African plaintiffs' case. 

Germany's Daimler AG and Rheinmetall AG were dismissed as defendants in the case in 2013. Dozens of other companies were previously dismissed. 

Apartheid ended in 1994 when South Africa held its first all-race elections, bringing Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress to power. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In Tech News

Bitcoin rises 5.6% to $49,337.72
Tesla crash victim lauded 'full self-driving' in videos on Tiktok
Fifteen apps parents should be aware of: Are any of these on your child’s phone?
My dad wants to invest in Bitcoin. Should he?
Army of fake fans boosts China’s messaging on Twitter
US Feds say a lack of reporting poses barrier to cyber defence
As of iOS 14.4, Apple lets you get more volume out of your iPhone
Need a professional photo? In pandemic times, you can do it yourself
Biden revokes Trump order that sought to limit social media firms' protections
Stock photography: Tips for turning your photos into cash

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers