Marikana: Foundation may provide funding

2013-07-29 13:47

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has adjourned until Wednesday pending the decision of an unnamed foundation regarding funding.

Commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, stood down proceedings this morning until 9am on Wednesday.

“I have been reliably informed that another body might provide funding ... we should hear (its decision) by the end of tomorrow,” he said.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest in Marikana last year. Police shot dead 34 striking mine workers on August 16. Ten people, including two police officers, were killed in the preceding week.

Today, Dali Mpofu, for the wounded and arrested miners, said his team would file papers with the Constitutional Court to ask for a ruling on whether the state should fund their work at the commission.

Mpofu made a similar request in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier this month but it was dismissed.

He reiterated his request for the commission, from which his team had provisionally withdrawn, to be postponed until August 19.

“If the situation changes, we will inform yourselves. Until then, the only purpose for us coming in and out of here is to distract us from the Constitutional Court matter,” Mpofu said.

He argued that a postponement of two to three weeks would “preserve the integrity” of the commission, from which the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the Legal Resources Centre, represented by George Bizos, SC, had also provisionally withdrawn.

Michelle le Roux, for the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), said her client now supported the postponement application.

“This commission must be inclusive and allow all voices to be heard,” she read from a statement.

If the postponement was granted, the SAHRC would call for the commission’s deadline to be extended.

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