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Gold firms ask appeals court to hear their case against class action ruling - BDlive

Friday, 15 July 2016

SIX gold companies have filed petitions to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) for leave to appeal against the class action certification judgment, delivered in the High Court in Johannesburg on May 13.

The six mining houses had unsuccessfully applied for leave to appeal against the judgment‚ which certified a class action by mine workers against South African gold producers.

The landmark judgment paved the way for tens of thousands of mine workers and former mine workers suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis to sue the mining companies for damages in a class action.

In June the court refused the mines’ leave to appeal, prompting the mines on Friday to petition the SCA directly.

The companies are African Rainbow Minerals‚ Anglo American SA‚ AngloGold Ashanti‚ Gold Fields‚ Harmony and Sibanye Gold.

The six said they were conscious of concerns that the appeal processes would delay finalisation of the matters.

The reason for their appeal was because the High Court judgment addressed a number of highly complex and important issues, they said.

The companies also said the High Court itself found that the scope and magnitude of the proposed claims was unprecedented in SA and that the class action would address novel and complex issues of fact and law.

The group said it was of the view that achieving a mutually acceptable, comprehensive settlement, which was fair to past‚ present and future employees, was preferable to protracted litigation.

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