Marikana families lose travel funding

2012-10-29 07:20

The families of the victims of the Marikana killings were not formally informed that funding to travel to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry had been stopped, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri) said.

“No formal notification was given. It is clear to us that because government agreed to provide funding for the families, and did so, there was a legitimate expectation that they would continue to do so,” Seri said yesterday.

It said there was a clear basis in international law for the families to attend a commission of this nature.

Seri has been instructed to represent the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and 21 families of people who were killed by the police on August 16.

The department of justice said on Saturday it would no longer provide funding for the families to attend the commission hearings in Rustenburg.

“There is no legal basis on which the attendance of the family members or representatives can be sustained on state expense,” said spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

The department had helped pay the travel costs of the families to attend the first session of the inquiry, but financing further attendance would be left to the families themselves.

Many of the families of victims are not from North West but other provinces.

“The attendance of the first session of the commission was mainly based on humanitarian basis as it is important that they understand the primary purpose of the inquiry,” Mhaga said.

“Further attendance of the inquiry would be left to the choice of the families themselves.”

He said the department could not continue funding the travel of family members to attend the commission because it had no legislative basis.

If family members were called as witnesses to the commission, their travel expenses would be covered. 

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