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Mining South Africa

Anglo maintains innocence as Kabwe claimants given leave to appeal

Claimants from Kabwe, Zambia, who are seeking compensation for alleged lead poisoning, have been given the green light to appeal a previous court decision. The South African High Court has acknowledged their right to appeal, paving the way for the case to be escalated to a superior court. This development, however, does not reverse the High Court’s initial dismissal of the class action lawsuit in December 2023.
Source: Aleksandar Pasaric/Pexels
Source: Aleksandar Pasaric/Pexels

Anglo American, a defendant in the lawsuit, has declared its intention to contest any appeal. The company insists it is not accountable for the pollution and labels the claim as “wholly misguided.”

Despite its historical involvement in the Kabwe mine, Anglo American maintains it never directly owned or operated it.

Anglo American argues that the Zambian government and subsequent mining companies are responsible for pollution that occurred after the mine’s nationalisation in 1971.

The claimants, represented by law firms Leigh Day and Mbuyisa Moleele, filed a class action in 2020 seeking compensation from Anglo American South Africa (AASA) for alleged lead poisoning stemming from the company’s historical involvement in the Kabwe mine.

The High Court dismissed the suit in December 2023, citing legal flaws and finding it not in the interest of justice to proceed.

Despite the setback, lawyers for the claimants won the right to appeal the case to a higher court. Anglo American says it will oppose any appeal.

About Lindsey Schutters

Lindsey is the editor for ICT, Construction&Engineering and Energy&Mining at Bizcommunity
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