Govt must pay Marikana lawyers: IFP

By Drum Digital
15 August 2013

Government should show commitment to the inquiry into last year's Marikana shootings by paying the fees of the lawyers representing miners, the IFP said on Thursday. It was a travesty of justice that the lawyers were still without funding, Inkatha Freedom Party secretary general Sibongile Nkomo said. Dali Mpofu, representing miners wounded or arrested in the shootings, has taken the State to the Constitutional Court, asking that it pay for his legal team at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry. He made a similar request in the High Court in Pretoria several weeks ago, but this was dismissed. Nkomo said: "This seriously calls into question government's commitment to this enquiry and whether they really want answers as to what went wrong on that fateful day." Government had committed itself to the commission, yet was reluctant to help those who participated. "We need to understand government's failures [at Marikana] and chart a way forward that will ensure that this tragedy never occurs again." Friday marks the first anniversary of the shootings at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West. Thirty-four miners were killed on August 16 last year when police fired at them while trying to disperse them from a hill where they had gathered. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in unrest during the preceding week.

-by Sapa

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