Zuma, Radebe should pay legal costs – Marikana lawyers

2013-06-21 19:04

The lawyers representing injured and arrested Marikana miners have filed an application in the North Gauteng High Court, asking that President Jacob Zuma and minister Jeff Radebe pay for their legal costs.

Dali Mpofu, who represents injured and arrested miners, today told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, sitting in Centurion, that the application had been filed because they had run out of resources.

“Depending on the outcome of this application it may be the end of the road for us and the applicants that we represent in terms of participating in the commission,” said Mpofu.

But he said they were optimistic about the court action.

The court papers filed today states that the main focus of this class action is the vindication of the applicants’ constitutional rights, including the right to equality and human dignity.

The state sponsored and took financial responsibility for the appointment of a team of evidence leaders, an SAPS team of lawyers and a team for the Department of Minerals and Energy, families of the slain policemen and Popcru. “Despite being repeatedly requested to do so (provide financial assistance) the state has failed and/or refused to assume any responsibility for the legal fees associated with the presentation of the version of the victims at the Commission,” the court papers state.

According to the papers, the lawyers had approached Legal Aid, which also refused to provide funding.

Since January, the representatives of the injured miners have had to “carry the burden” of representation, including the related expenses from their own pockets.

If unopposed, the application will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court on July 9.

At the time of publication, spokespeople for the Presidency and the ministry of justice were not available for comment.

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