The US Supreme Court has upheld an appeal court ruling that will allow victims of apartheid to sue international companies, including IBM and HP, they say upheld the former government.
The US's highest court didn't actually hear the case, though, because too many of the justices required for a hearing had conflicting interests and couldn't get involved.
Since it was unable to hear the case, the court had to allow the earlier ruling, by a New York appeals court, to be upheld.
The lawsuits, said to represent all people living in South Africa who suffered under apartheid, say about 50 international companies violated international law by assisting the apartheid system.
They were initially dismissed, but re-instated by the appeal court, which has now been allowed by the Supreme Court.
Both the US and South African governments are opposed to the suits.