PracticeAccounting FirmsTop firms to face massive apartheid lawsuits

Top firms to face massive apartheid lawsuits

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and KPMG are to face lawsuits for allegedly helping corporate clients exploit black workers during the apartheid era in South Africa.

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Edward Fagan, the US lawyer who helped extract billions of dollars from banks and insurers in the Nazi gold lawsuits, is said to be preparing lawsuits to be filed this month in US, British and South African courts against the three firms, a report in yesterday’s Observer said.

The firms are accused of failing in their duty as auditors to stop companies from illegally withholding pension payments owed to their black employees.

Fagan said: ‘Under the racist apartheid regime, black workers were unable to prevent corporations mistreating and exploiting them. We say the accountants helped them do it, by signing off their accounts and misreporting the status of the pension monies.’

According to Fagan 100,000 former workers had been identified with legitimate claims, but he said this could rise to as many as 500,000 workers. Combined claims could reach $30bn.

PwC, Deloitte and KPMG all deny any wrongdoing.

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