Business and human rights
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In 2006, a former gold miner suffering from the lung disease silicosis sued AngloGold Ashanti in the South African courts for failing to provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment and failing to meet its law duty of care (this legal duty is discussed below). Under South African law, he had to take his claim to the compensation commission. He challenged the constitutionality of the scheme. The case reached the South African Constitutional Court which ruled in his favour in 2011.
The ruling allowed a class action for damages to be brought by other miners suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis (TB) who had worked for various mining companies, including AngloGold Ashanti. In 2013, the High Court of South Africa confirmed that thousands of affected gold miners could join a class action against 30 gold mining companies. The ruling meant that miners who had worked in different mines and over different periods of time could join a single legal action. This was the first class action case in South Africa.
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