LRC excluded from Marikana inquiry

2012-10-09 13:27
(AP)

(AP)

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Cape Town - The SA Human Rights Commission has withdrawn its brief to the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) to help in the Marikana shooting investigation.

This follows concerns raised by Parliament's justice and constitutional development portfolio committee of a potential conflict of interest regarding the commission's investigation into the Marikana violence and the LRC's role in representing the victims and the families of miners.

The commission had requested expert assistance from the LRC in the initial stages of its investigation to help the SAHRC in making an informed assessment, commission spokesperson Isaac Mangena said on Tuesday.

"The portfolio committee, while acknowledging the independence of the SAHRC, raised concerns with regard to the issue of conflict of interest based on the relationship with the LRC, who was representing some of the family members of the victims at the Farlam commission of inquiry into the Marikana tragedy," he said.

Concerns

The committee was also "concerned about duplication of roles and wasteful costs given the scope of our investigation and the terms of reference of the Farlam commission".

The SAHRC held several meetings to discuss these concerns and finally resolved that, in the interest of ensuring the SAHRC maintained its role as an independent and unbiased institution, it would be in the best interest of all parties to terminate its relationship with the LRC in the Marikana investigation.

"We are, however, continuing with our investigation into allegations of human rights abuses."

The commission received two complaints into this matter - one from an NGO, another referred by the office of the public protector - and had decided it was in the public interest to proceed with an investigation.

The commission would shortly be issuing a statement detailing the processes it would follow in this investigation.

The commission would, however, continue to work closely with the LRC on several other matters involving human rights violations, he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lrc  |  sahrc  |  marikana inquiry
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