Lonmin welcomes judicial commission

2012-08-24 08:51

Mining firm Lonmin has welcomed the three-member judicial commission of inquiry to probe the deaths of 44 people in protests associated with their company in Marikana, North West.

“Lonmin welcomes the terms of reference announced by President Jacob Zuma for the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the Marikana tragedy,” the firm said in a statement today.

“(Lonmin) will cooperate fully with the commission.”

Yesterday, Zuma announced that retired Supreme Court judge Ian Farlam will chair the commission.

He will be joined by senior advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.

The commission will have the power to enter and search premises, secure the attendance of witnesses and compel the production of documents.

Where appropriate, it will refer any matter for prosecution, further investigation, or the convening of a separate inquiry to the appropriate law enforcement agency, government department or regulator.

34 miners were killed and 78 wounded when police tried to disperse striking workers last Thursday.

Zuma said the commission’s mandate would include investigating the conduct of Lonmin.

It would consider whether Lonmin responded appropriately to the threat, and the subsequent outbreak of violence on its premises.

He said the role of government agencies will not escape scrutiny in the inquiry, as well as the conduct of the SA Police Service, focusing on the facts and circumstances which gave rise to the use of force, and whether it was reasonable and justifiable.

It would scrutinise the conduct of the National Union of Mineworkers and its rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

Before the 34 people were killed in a clash with police, 10 people, including police officers and security guards, had already died.

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