Marikana commission continues

By Drum Digital
10 November 2014

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry, investigating the deaths of 44 people in Marikana, resumes in Pretoria today.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry, investigating the deaths of 44 people in Marikana, resumes in Pretoria on Monday.

Mining company Lonmin is expected to present its final arguments.

During the last sitting, the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) said the commission should report to President Jacob Zuma that his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa acted unwisely regarding Marikana.

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi from LRC said the question was whether Ramaphosa should be held accountable for the use of political pressure on the police.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive director and shareholder in Lonmin at the time of the strike-related violence at Lonmin's mining operations at Marikana, North West, in August 2012.

He phoned the minister of police to ask that the police presence be increased around Marikana, to deter strike violence.

Commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, asked what he thought the commission could practically do in this regard, as Ngcukaitobi agreed Ramaphosa could not be held civilly or criminally liable.

"Do you want us to tell the world... you [Ramaphosa] acted badly?" Farlam asked. George Bizos, SC, suggested the word "unwisely".

The commission is investigating the deaths of 34 people, mostly striking mineworkers, shot dead in a clash with police on August 16, 2012.

More than 70 people were wounded and more than 200 were arrested. The police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

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