19 December 2023
by Sarah Morgan

Kabwe defiant on class action

Kabwe women and children alleging lead poisoning in a class action against Anglo American are determined to appeal the judgment by a Johannesburg High Court Judgment that their case cannot proceed as a class action.

© Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

The 12 claimants who brought the case on behalf of 140,000 Zambian women and children who have suffered lead poisoning, which lawyers say 'caused and continues to cause permanent brain damage' have issued a statement saying they are ‘hugely disappointed by the ruling’ issued on Friday 15 December 2023.

The 126-page judgment delivered by Justice Windell of the Johannesburg High Court ruled that a claim against Anglo American South Africa (AASA) over widespread lead poisoning across Kabwe, Zambia cannot proceed as a class action.

The class action was filed in South Africa as their lawyers state that it would not have been possible for the claimants to obtain access to justice in Zambia.

The claimants are represented by law firm Mbuyisa Moleele Attorneys with Leigh Day acting as consultants. In a joint statement, Leigh partner Richard Meeran and Mbuyisa Moleele founding partner, Zanele Mbuyisa said, ‘We are extremely disappointed by the judgment, which we consider to be fundamentally flawed.

‘We remain committed to securing justice for the 140,000 women and children affected by lead poisoning in Kabwe and the communities have made their intention to appeal very clear.

‘We are very grateful for the support shown by everyone who has worked on this case in our continued pursuit of the best possible outcome for those affected by lead poisoning in Kabwe.’

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