JOHANNESBURG — Multinational companies conspired with their financial service providers to defraud thousands of primarily black South African mineworkers out of tens of millions of dollars in pension entitlements, according to an attorney planning to file a lawsuit against the firms.
The claimants — 10,000 former mineworkers in South Africa — will seek $100 billion in damages.
But the case might have wider ramifications for the money management industry if attorneys for the plaintiffs succeed in including money managers, actuaries and insurers who advised the corporate schemes in the 1980s, during the apartheid era.
That expansion is very likely, according to Gugulethu Oscar Madlanga, partner with Ngcebetsha Madlanga Attorneys, Randburg, South Africa. The firm is acting as attorneys for the claimants, working with attorney Edward D. Fagan. Mr. Fagan, a principal with Edward D. Fagan Esq. Inc., Short Hills, N.J., got involved in the case as an outgrowth of his work against the South African government and assorted companies over human rights abuses during the apartheid era.
Mr. Fagan was the attorney successfully representing surviving victims of the Holocaust, who sued a number of Swiss banks for their involvement in concealing Nazi assets after the war.