MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Angloplat Threatens Lawyer With Court

Published by MAC on 2006-07-06

AngloPlat threatens lawyer with court

business_ifrica.om

6th July 2006

South Africa's largest platinum miner Anglo Platinum has requested that attorney Richard Spoor withdraw alleged defamatory remarks made against the company and joint venture partner African Rainbow Minerals, AngloPlat said on Thursday. AngloPlat and ARM are both involved in the Modikwa Platinum mine joint venture in the Limpopo province.

"If Mr Spoor does not give us this undertaking on or before Monday 10 July 2006, we have informed him that we will seek an urgent interdict in the High Court to prevent him repeating this defamatory conduct," AngloPlat said.

Can't 'muzzle him'

The move by AngloPlat to muzzle him was consistent with the culture of the group, Spoor said.

AngloPlat was "profoundly undemocratic", "a bully", "suppressive", "exploitative", Spoor alleged.

Spoor said he wouldn't shut up and he would make his comments at any venue and at any time.

AngloPlat had previously lodged a complaint with the Law Society of South Africa for unprofessional conduct and that complaint was unlikely to be the last, Spoor said.

Spoor is representing communities in the case brought against the Modikwa Platinum joint venture.

"Where the company believes its legal position, its actions or its intentions are being misrepresented, or communities misinformed, it will intervene to protect its interests and those of the communities concerned," AngloPlat said.

Corporate thuggery?

"Misunderstandings can divide communities and increase tensions, leading to possible confrontation and violence," the company said.

"In media articles he has authored or where he has been quoted, Mr Spoor has misrepresented Anglo Platinum's actions and motives, including accusing it of bribery, corporate thuggery, waging war on communities and racism," AngloPlat alleged.

"This is not an attempt to prevent Mr Spoor from representing community members. We are seeking to ensure that information given to communities or the media is fair and accurate," the group said.

"We have therefore asked Mr Spoor to withdraw untrue and defamatory statements and to undertake in writing that he will not in future defame the companies or their executives. The companies have reserved their rights to claim damages from Mr Spoor in respect of defamatory statements," AngloPlat said.

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