Over the next 5 weeks Khulumani Support Group Red Card Campaign will take you on a journey into the various aspects of the so-called ‘Apartheid Litigation’ against five multinational corporations that are charged with aiding and abetting the commission of apartheid gross human rights violations. For the quick and easy answer to all your questions, check out the Frequently Asked Questions section.
The case in question has been undertaken by the Khulumani Support Group, a South African social movement with 55,000 members across all races, rural, urban, rich and poor who have all been affected by the gross human rights violations of the apartheid-era. While South Africa celebrates hosting the world this month, Khulumani celebrates the victories it has had on the long road of the lawsuit, and calls for support from people across the globe to stand up for corporate accountability. Let us show the corporations that now sponsor football teams in the World Cup that we demand accountability for their sponsorship of apartheid abuses!
During this month we’ll shine a spotlight on some of the plaintiffs in the case, the corporations in question, and some of the bigger issues of reconciliation and reparations in South Africa. We also profile the work of our members and their continued struggles for human rights and dignity; as well as their actvities at the Soweto-based Khulumani People’s Justice Fan Centre. Finally, this is your place to hear that latest fantastic tunes from a local and international Hip Hop collective’s awesome album produced specifically for the red card campaign: Niet vir Niet/Nothing for Nothing.
Join us in this global people’s movement for justice and corporate accountability!
The Red Card Campaign was established to raise awareness about the Khulumani lawsuit against 5 multinational corporations that are alleged to have aided and abetted the apartheid government in crimes against humanity. For those of you new to the case, and the reasons for bringing it, here’s the 101 version (also check out the FAQ section for more details).
In 2002 Khulumani through American attorney Michael Hausfeld lodged a complaint in the NY District Court on behalf of its members who had suffered from torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention and other abuses. The complaint alleged that 23 multinational companies across sectors of Banking, Oil, Transport, Technology and Arms all aided and abetted the South African military and government to commit the brutal systemic acts which came to define Apartheid as a Crime Against Humanity. By providing financing to the military, oil to fuel tanks, technology to implement pass laws, and components to manufacture weapons the complaint alleged these companies provided the means for the apartheid government to brutally repress the vast majority of South Africans. None of these companies ever engaged with the TRC business hearings, or in any way acknowledged their complicity. They profited off the lives of Black, Indian and Coloured South Africans and so this case is an attempt for South African people to say ‘enough is enough’ – it’s time to end corporate impunity!
Over the last 8 years the case has been through many ups and downs: we’ve seen changes in governments and changes in their support for the case, refined the complaint to its present format and won unimagined victories that set precedents for what kinds of actions corporations can be held accountable for. The five companies left in the lawsuit are: Daimler, Ford, IBM, General Motors and Rheinmettal. Over the next month we will be giving full profiles of each of these companies, detailing their alleged involvement with the apartheid regime. We will also introduce you to some of the plaintiffs – Khulumani members who continue to deal with the after-effects of their brutal treatment under apartheid.
Presently we are awaiting a decision from the court about whether or not the companies will be forced to open their records fully and expose all their business relations with the apartheid government. We need your support to show that people around the world demand full transparency and accountability from these corporations!