Feeds

Judge dismisses IBM apartheid lawsuit

Charges 'bordered on the frivolous'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A US judge has thrown out a case seeking billions in damages from companies charged with benefitting from South Africa's apartheid system.

New York District Court judge John Sprizzo gave his ruling on Monday, saying the charges "bordered on the frivolous", according to a report from the AP. A number of lawsuits filed throughout the US had been consolidated in Sprizzo's court. The companies charged with profiting from apartheid included giants such as IBM, ExxonMobil and Citigroup. The lawsuits against these firms were seeking damages of up to $400bn.

Sprizzo used harsh word to describe apartheid and questioned the morality of companies doing business with South Africa while such as system was in place, the news service reported. In the end, however, he ruled that the US companies did not directly cause any number of crimes including murder and torture by their business actions.

Plaintiffs had argued that the US companies supplied things such as oil, computers and financial services that made the machinery of apartheid possible.

South African president Thabo Mbeki has said in the past that he would like the lawsuits to be thrown out. Mbeki said that many of the companies have helped to rebuild South Africa and that their investments in the country are still much needed. The lawsuits are somewhat similar to those faced by IBM, when it was charged with providing computers that helped the Nazis with the Holocaust. ®

Related stories

Microsoft offshores patent war - so goes the WTO?
Old-timers squeeze $300m out of IBM
Gypsies to sue IBM over Nazi links

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.