Justice dept interfering in probe - Mpofu

2013-09-06 13:45
Dali Mpofu (Picture: City Press)

Dali Mpofu (Picture: City Press)

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Pretoria - The justice department has no right to interfere in the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, the commission was told on Friday.

"It is unfortunate and inappropriate as they are not parties in the commission," said Dali Mpofu, for miners arrested and wounded during the unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mine at Marikana last year.

He has applied to have the commission postponed until he can secure funding for himself and his legal team.

Two parties involved in the commission and the justice department have opposed his application.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the killing of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's Marikana operations near Rustenburg in the North West.

Police shot dead 34 people - almost all striking mineworkers - as they attempted to disperse them on 16 August 2012.

Ten other people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

‘Zuma the only external force’

The commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma shortly after the unrest.

Mpofu argued on Friday that Zuma was the only external force that could have an input in the commission.

"The president can take advice from his ministers but that does not mean that the minister can directly interfere in the commission," he said.

"This affects the independence of the commission. It is inappropriate and ill-advised."

Mpofu has provisionally withdrawn from the commission as he continues to seek funding.
The commission's evidence leaders have been representing his clients.

On Friday, Mpofu took a swipe at the evidence leaders, saying they were on the justice department pay-roll.

Evidence leaders head Geoff Budlender rejected Mpofu’s claims.

The hearings continue.
Read more on:    ian farlam  |  dali mpofu  |  marikana inquiry

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