Marikana commission’s term extended

2013-10-31 12:32

The tenure of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry will be extended, its chairman has said.

“I want to place it on record that I’ve been informed this morning from the president’s office that the relevant extension proclamation will be signed today, so we will be able to proceed tomorrow,” retired Judge Ian Farlam said today.

Earlier, the commission’s spokesperson, Tshepo Mahlangu, said the tenure of the commission ended today and an application for an extension had been made to the presidency well in advance.

“The application was made in good time but one must understand that paperwork has to move from one place to the other, allowing various individuals to apply their minds on issues raised as part of the application,” Mahlangu said.

President Jacob Zuma established the judicial commission of inquiry in August last year, shortly after the shootings on August 16.

Zuma announced far-reaching terms of reference and a tight four-month deadline for the commission chaired by Farlam, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“The commission shall complete its work within a period of four months and must submit its final report within a month of completing its work,” Zuma said at the time.

Initial public hearings were held in Rustenburg, before the venue was shifted to Pretoria at the request of lawyers.

Since the end of January, the commission has repeatedly asked for extensions to complete its work.

Mahlangu said that so far 22 witnesses had testified and about 28 were still scheduled to give evidence.

The police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mine workers; wounded 70; and arrested 250 at Marikana on August 16 2012.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj was not immediately reachable for comment.

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