Posted on: March 4, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 18

The South African mining industry had under provided for class action claims related to lung diseases contracted while working underground, said Richard Spoor, an independent attorney who today scored a win against AngloGold Ashanti.

The Constitutional Court (Concourt) on Thursday said Spoor’s client, the now deceased Thembekile Mankayi, a former employee of AngloGold Ashanti, was able to claim reparation for ill health through common law rights in addition to industry specific legislation, known as Odimwa.

“Given the singular risks of mining, and its unique historical role in our country’s wealth, there is nothing irrational in preserving employees’ common law claims against their employees in respect of Odimwa-compensatable diseases,” said Justice J Khampepe, of the Concourt.

Odimwa is an acronym for the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act, and is specific to mining related reparation claims.

Another piece of health and safety legislation, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (Coida; section 35(1)), prohibits common law claims but is applied to general industry and not generally used in mining claims.

The essence of this finding, which will see Spoor return the matter against AngloGold Ashanti to the High Court, is that common law claims are unlimited. They allow for claims against company negligence whereas Odimwa is restricted to issues such as medical compensation.

“We have been greatly assisted by the judgement itself,” said Spoor. “I have the impression, pretty unambiguously, that the current compensation regime is not satisfactory,” he added.

Legal sources believed that while no precedent had yet been set, the road was set down allowing for common law claims to be levelled at mining firms, potentially raising the amount of compensation for which the sector would provide.

Partner at Webber Wentzel Warren Beech said the ruling has provided a basis for mine workers to pursue civil claims against employers, although the onus would still remain on the employee to prove harm caused and the level of damages incurred. “It confirms the legal principle, but employees would still need to prove their case,” said Beech.

He said the judgment was also unlikely to lead to a litany of cases, as most miners wouldn’t be able to afford a High Court claim.

The Chamber of Mines of SA, would not be drawn on the matter. “We can’t comment on specific issues of AngloGold Ashanti, but I would say that the appeal has been heard and the matter will return to the High Court,” said Jabu Maphalala, a spokesman.

He added, however: “The Chamber has, however, been actively working in tripartite forums on the alignment and reform of the statutory framework for compensation in respect of occupational lung disease, seeking to achieve this in a manner that eliminates anomalies in the application of the legislation, but does not threaten the viability of the industry and the jobs of the people employed in it.”

Spoor believed that the mining industry at large would probably have to institute an industry wide trust similar to the asbestos industry trust that saw Gencor pay out up to R700m for miners infected with asbestosis while working at the Msauli and Gefco mines.

Source: MiningMx

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18 People reacted on this

  1. This is a good that should happen on people who worked their whole lives in mines and they came out with nothing except chronic diseases. They should be compensated. My brother has the same problem. In 2008 he was working in the mine and he caught TB while there and came back home. While he was taking madication, he faxed the mine his medical certificates, but when he was well he went back, but now they are not taking him back. They say they were not notified about his illness. He’s without a job now because he was rejected by his mine he was working for. I was appealing to you if there’s anything you can help him.

  2. My father worked on the mines for over 20 years and has been suffering with ‘ptysis’ ever since, and lung diseases.
    He also struggles financially to go to doctors and pay for medication because it is so expensive and he cannot afford medical aid. He’s been gone from the mines also for almost 20 years.
    He has been to the Mine Workers Union in Johannesburg for tests a lot of times and it has always been unsuccessful.
    When we saw Richard Spoor on the news we saw hope for him that he might get paid out. We do not know where to start in this whole process and would like more information. -Christell Beytell (his daughter)

  3. Hi I’m urgently looking for the contact details for Mr. Richard Spoor. If someone can please contact me in regards to this matter it is very urgent. My contact no 0846752799.

    Kind Regards
    Jakobus Pretorius

  4. My children and I worked on the Cape Asbestosis Plc Court Case in 2001 and it is most shocking what this type of work had done to the health and living standard of poor workers.
    Lawyers Richard Spoor and Richard Meeran are the most decent lawyers I have ever come across and they certainly deserve credit for their hard
    and good work and their hearts of gold.
    If only there were more like them, then we could have faith in the judiciary system.
    Law Departments of Universities should learn from them, because that is where unprofessional, immoral and unethical practices begin.
    I have had to do my own human and civil rights fighting all my life, more especially since 1994.

  5. What precisely did the likes of Jay Naidoo, Cyril Ramaposa, Emma Mashinini and loads of others including the present leaders of the Mine Workers Union and Cosatu supposedly helping the Workers do apart from organise Strikes and shut Industris and Companies down, if they are NOT even supporting Richard Spoor and these poor Workers?

    It is now obvious why they wanted to be in politics. The Mining Companies and their evil bosses such as the Oppenheimers right back to ‘Sir’ H.Barkly who made the Recommendations in 1872 enjoy abusing their backward, unfair, inhumane laws and practices and now the present bosses of Anglo Platinum etc with it’s Mohammed Valli Moosa who also HATES poor, innocent people as he was the very one to STOP the poor few Coloured fisherman from fishing in our sea, while he and they allow the Foreign Countries such as Japan, China, etc to remove millions of tons of fish daily off our coasts without any intervention or stopping thereof.

    All they think about is themselves only, in the same way as he too had instructed and shouted innocent students and pupils to boycott classes and create riots and mayhem, while I worked and protested peacefully, not violently as they do.

    Unlike Anglo, Gencor had White Afrikaner Management and that is why they had the decency to settle their Asbestosis Cases out of Court and provided a Trust.

    The ANC and Anglo American Corporation are similar in numerous aspects as we now see.

  6. In 1993, after my bosses at Anglo American Corporation, now Anglo Plc had read an article about me in the Sunday Times fighting for my and our Civil and Human rights, non-violently as usual, they immediately said; “Because you are always setting precedents in the country we have to ask you to leave.”
    As far as Anglo policies and practices are concerned, only they have rights.

    See this report; AngloPlat to raise R12.5bn, of Feb 2010; ANGLO Platinum (AngloPlat) is to hold a massive R12.5bn ($1.6bn) rights offer with the full support of parent Anglo American which has undertaken to follow all its rights and underwrite the balance of the offer. Anglo American holds 79.2% of AngloPlat’s equity and has so far loaned the group – which is the largest platinum producer in the world – R20.1bn.

    AngloPlat said the proceeds of the offer would used to repay debt which had reached a total of R22.8bn by end-December. The rights offer has been pitched at a price of R502.18 a share which represented a discount of 26% to the volume weighted average price of of AngloPlat of R686,96 as of February 5.

    Shareholders will be offered 10.38 rights offer shares for every 100 shares held on the record date of the offer which will be March 5. AngloPlat has run up this debt because of the impact of its huge capital expenditure programme as well as falling revenues and profits caused by last year’s collapse in platinum group metal (pgm) prices.

    Anglo American noted in a separate statement that its take-up of rights and repayment of intercompany debt by AngloPlat will be “in effect, an exchange of debt for equity.”

    Anglo American added, “following the rights offer, Anglo Platinum will have a more balanced capital structure, enabling it to focus on extracting value from its existing operations through further cost and productivity improvements and optimising its premium portfolio of assets and growth projects through disciplined investment.”

    AngloPlat’s results for the year to end-December show a 95% drop in operating profit to R921m (previous financial year – R17.6bn) and a 95% fall in headline earnings to R710m (R13.3bn).

    The company passed its interim and final dividends for 2009 and said dividend payments, “will be resumed when the market conditions and the operating environment permit.”

  7. I need the contact details for your Maseru offices for my brother-in-law to register his compensation. He was discharged after contracting tb. He worked at the Vaal Reefs mine.

  8. Like Lerato, I request contact details for the Lesotho offices of the class action, so that this can be passed on to families who wish to join in the class action. It is despicable that such families were deprived of their able fathers and husbands while they worked their lives away in the mines. At the end they have them back old, sick and broken, without help from those who benefitted from the labour of those who are living with this cronic suffering and pain.

  9. The South African mining industry had under provided for class action claims related to lung diseases contracted while working underground…

    ————-

    On point of correction, they should say The British Controlled and Managed, South African Mining Industry……..because the Laws and pracitces eminated from and since 1891, with CJ Rhodes, Rothschild etc’s first …….society, then later after his death…..group’s meetings

    these meetings have been presided over by Rhodes, Lord Milner, Lord Selborne, Sir Patrick Duncan, Field Marshal Jan Smuts, Lord Lothian, and Lord Brand. They have been held in all the British Dominions, starting in South Africa about 1903; in various places in London, chiefly Piccadilly; at various colleges at Oxford, chiefly All Souls; and at many English country houses such as Tring Park, Blickling Hall, Cliveden, and others.

    These Mining Bosses/Magnates all came to South Africa, penniless, but soon became multi-millionaires & billionaires, who did not even have any social resposibilities towards/for us South African’s, but invested overseas to expand the British Empire and their own further Corporations and Banks ….at our expenses and the underpaid, overworked, miners too.

    Of course they did not provide for class actions, because they do not care a damn. That is their mentality, attitudes and culture – I worked with them for many years in the various companies and experienced it myself, as well.

    This is precisely, what Oxford Univerity also, teaches you. They are educated, professional gangsters. These were the so-called ‘Liberals’, who lived the high, good and easy lifestyles in South Africa, after having robbed my family too, while they only enjoyed the profits hereof.

    I saw and experienced in their offices, how they hated South Africans, including the Coloured and Afrikaner people too, that is why there were so very few of us allowed to be employed there. They are such hypocrites, liars and pretenders – the mafia. They will kill us too. They banned us from obtaining work in their many companies in our own country too. I am so ashamed to be of British descent, but I had met a few decent ones though, who also had enough of British immoral policies and practices.

    In comparison to the hardhips we all had to endure including the Boer farmers, these characters all lived the lives of Kings in my Country, while we were dispossessed and impoverished and they benefitted profusely – and they hide behind the Afrikaners – ‘Dutchmen’ as they called them, being blamed for British Apartheid, while they were the main protaginists and instigators thereof man.

  10. June, If you still have not got the details yet, Mr Spoor told me that their partner in Lesotho is the Mineworkers Development Agency in Maseru, which is right next to the TEBA offices.

  11. I worked for Rennies Warehousing in Maydon wharf in Durban around 1981 for 15 years. We received, stored and despatched raw asbestos fom mines like Gefco, Pomfret, GMC . I have now been diagnised with asbestosis, an sbestos related lung disease.
    The company I worked for is not operating anymore. I have been awarded a small compensation for occupational injuries and diseases by the department of labour Compensation Fund. The company knew the dangers of asbestos but never told us workers anything. I was young and ignorant at the time and only learned about asbestosis after I have been diagnosed.

  12. Dear Richard, Lerato & June

    Many thanks for your stories too. The TRUTH must be made known and public too,despite the fact that they torture us with their ‘black-listing’ of jobs etc or kill us for speaking the TRUTH, because only their evil selves are allowed to prosper for themselves and their British Apartheid Empires of further abuses, since 1871 especially. In 2006 in London, a British Apartheid ‘Expert’ ‘psychologist my ‘Lawyer’ expected me to sign a ‘Report’ of his which included that “Griffiths and ……states that people from the South, should be paid LESS Compensations, because they are UNEDUCATED”, people – -naturally I protested, refused and demanded a copy thereof, but my British ‘lawyer’ refused to give me a copy and of course lost my case of carbon-monoxide poisoning from a faulty, very old gas boiler unit in a room in Chelsea, believe it or not, but this too, is the Gospel TRUTH, also, the Doctors REFUSE to admit to any form of poisoning and I also HEARD my ex-boss say so to the other doctors too, and further PROVES their satannic British Apartheid Ideology which they are taught in their ‘educational’ institutions, by ‘politicians’, their ‘parents’ ideology and culture. We may be of British descent, but NOT of evil British Culture! I feel all of your pain and hurt too.

    By British Apartheid I include Oppenheimers, Rothschilds, all their other Mining Bosses too of since 1888, as well as the British Monarchs, ‘aristocracy’ etc who have all Profitted from us and now have wealth Worldwide, since then, while we have to keep suffering. I will never stop telling the TRUTH, despite them robbing, torturing and abusing us.

    The same goes for the ANC-SACP and their British controlled laws/ judiciary, ‘commission’, ‘courts’ of corruption, too.

    The Public medium is still the cheapest and best one, because it is the People who know the TRUTH and NOT evil Regime & Corporate-biased judiciaries and ‘courts’.
    Out – of biased Courts settlements are still the best answers, without useless, incompetent, corrupt over-paid staff and heads, especially, as the Land Restitution Claims ‘commission’, that is also stealing all the Land in Southern Africa now for Black invaders only, similar to th eway Britain did for the British Apartheid Queen Victoria for British White invaders only.

    Also, the British Land owners in South Africa since late 1700’s, did NOT Buy any land, they stole it, with British Authorities thieving and giving it to them, including Herbert Rhodes, 2nd Duke of Westminster, Mr. Rhodes etc. De Beers, Gold Fields and all of those Mining Bosses too, Oppenheimers, AAC etc etc, as I have discovered too, since 1993.

    They are the World’s Biggest Mafia Gangsters.

    The Great British Culture of Atrocities and abuses must be stopped and spreading the Word is the only way, because they now own and control the World, but Mr. Vladimer Putin and 2 or 3 South American leaders are the only persons in power I know of, who does NOT sell his soul, to them. But he should also stop their abuses of human and civil rights too.

    FOR THE GREAT BRITISH APARTHEID BLOOD-SUCKING VAMPIRES:

    The Great British Apartheid Illuminatti Power Abusing BIG Boys and Girls of Crimes against Humanity.

    The 10 Commandments – God’s Revelation in the Old Testament
    The 10 Commandments are found in the Bible’s Old Testament at Exodus, Chapter 20. They were given directly by God to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai after He had delivered them from slavery in Egypt:

    “And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God…

    ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’

    TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’
    [ Do NOT build statues of beings, especially the evil ones. It is also a sheer waste of money too. ]

    THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’
    [ re your 39 Articles & racist Church of England & Prestbytarian Churches, for example, as I have also experienced, and still see, ongoing. ]

    FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’

    FIVE: ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
    [ But, Some ‘parents’ & children, ‘doctors’, especially evil lying psychiatrists, ‘politicians’, majority of ‘lawyers’, ‘judges’, ‘psychologists’, indoctrinatory lecturers such as, at Oxford & Cambridge, are British Apartheidly vulgar, abusive and evil
    and the British authorities teach children to mistreat their parents and teachers,
    if they are decent ]

    SIX: ‘You shall not murder.’

    SEVEN: ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

    EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal.’

    NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’

    TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.’

    The 10 Commandments – Christ’s Summation in the New Testament
    About 1,400 years later, the 10 Commandments were summed up in the New Testament at Matthew 22, when Jesus was confronted by the religious “experts”of the day:

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

    Little Britain said we have to learn the Holy Bible, yet it does not, similarly it’s Greatly evil, bribed, biased, medieval, corrupt Judiciary, Laws & Practices are to be applied on us, decent, innocent and vulnerable victims, but not on their evil selves??

    They censor the TRUTH & FACTS from being published, but not their propaganda, pornography & scams, because they own and control the publishing and media outlets too, with wealth stolen and accumulated from South Africa’s Minority owners thereof, for their criminal selves, families and their satannic Empire only.

  13. Is it possible for someone to give me Cape Asbestos UK e-mail or telephone nr. Will be very much appreciated

  14. Dear Anne

    I will see IF it exits because they had also, in TRUE satanic British Apartheid Policies & Practices systematic style of mafia ‘management’ & operating, closed the Company/ Corporation down and pretended that they had NO Funds as usual, while having hidden it in their British Owned & Controlled illegal and immoral Offshore Accounts and opened Other Companies under different names, during the Case of Koegas etc in the Northern Cape, South Africa, that we had set, in the London High Court, but was settled out of court.

    Why do you NEED it, as a matter of interest?

  15. Dear Anne

    Just as I had said indeed and correct again!

    They had declared themselves as Insolvent in the early 2000’s, but these are the Company’s they now Own and run, but there is NO e-mail contact address unfortunately, as this is typical of the British Apartheid Mafia Corporations’ ‘management’ style, as of since 2008:
    I will appreciate your telling me WHY you need it ok. Good Luck

    Claudine’s Independent Detective Agency.

    Our history

    Cape was founded in 1893, as an importer and manufacturer of insulation materials. For over 50 years we grew rapidly, acquiring or building factories and businesses in the UK and overseas.
    [Alcoa Pinjarra Refinery, West Australia] [Scaffolding – Aksai, Karachaganak, Kazakhstan] [Qatargas LNG Plant, Ras Laffan, Qatar]
    The Group’s principal trading subsidiaries are:

    Cape Industrial Services Limited (UK)
    DBI Industrial Services Limited (UK)
    Cape East LCC (Abu Dhabi)
    Cape East WLL (Qatar)

    RB Hilton Saudi Arabia Ltd (Saudi Arabia)
    Total Corrosion Control Pty Limited (Australia)
    Concept Hire Limited (Australia)
    PCH Group Limited (Australia)

    International Headquarters

    One Temasek Avenue
    #09-03 Millenia Tower
    Singapore 039192

    T: +65 6681 0540
    F: +65 6681 0549
    UK Corporate Office & Investor Correspondence

    9 The Square
    Stockley Park
    Uxbridge
    Middlesex
    UB11 1FW

    T: +44 (0) 203 178 5498
    F: +44 (0) 203 178 5499
    Registered Office

    Cape plc is a company registered in Jersey.

    47 Esplanade
    St Helier
    Jersey JE1 0BD, Channel Islands

    Registration Number 108031 (Jersey)

    Regional contact offices

    United Kingdom

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    Gulf/Middle East

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    CIS & North Africa

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    Far East/Pacific Rim

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    Regional head office directions

  16. Hi Claudine, I’m at Albert Hibbert Attorneys, we are instituting a class action on behalf of 40 former Cape PLC workers who contracted asbestosis. Please contact us on 082 463 9696, 012 343 0401 /2, albert.hibbert.za@gmail.com or in Sunnyside, Pretoria.

  17. My father-in-law worked his whole live on the mines, went on pension, in 1994 he was diagnosed with silicosis, we think, by the mine’s Pthysis Board.
    Every year he goes back, they say his health is still okay, but sometimes he can’t even breathe after he had walked only 10 meters!
    The board sits every time after a checkup, but still says he is fine. They send him for X-ray’s, you can see his lungs are in bad condition.
    He is 81 and we hope we will have him for a long time more, but the mines should pay him for lung disease.

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