Lawyers stalling Marikana inquiry - SACP

2013-08-16 07:11
 (File, Lucky Nxumalo, Beeld)

(File, Lucky Nxumalo, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Lawyers at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry are delaying proceedings, the SACP said on Thursday.

"The SA Communist Party is extremely worried by the narrow interests of legal practitioners that seem to be stalling progress in so far as the work of the commission is concerned," said spokesperson Malesela Maleka.

"The commission has unfortunately become [more] a lawyers' commission than an inquiry into the death of mineworkers and the situation and conditions under which [mineworkers] live and work," he said.

President Jacob Zuma established the commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, and it began holding public hearings in October last year. It is probing the deaths of 44 people, most of them Lonmin miners, at Marikana, North West, last August.

State funding

The inquiry has been postponed several times as one of the lawyers, Dali Mpofu, representing the miners arrested and injured at Marikana, has sought State funding.

Mpofu has approached the Constitutional Court asking that the State pay for his legal team's costs during the inquiry. He made a similar request in the North Gauteng High Court several weeks ago, but this was dismissed.

Maleka said it was concerning that the commission had not been concluded a year after the violence. Friday marks the first anniversary of the shootings at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

Thirty-four miners were killed on 16 August 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.

The unrest was partially associated with rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union [AMCU].

A stronger NUM

On Wednesday, Lonmin and Amcu signed an agreement recognising the trade union as having majority representation at the company. On Thursday the SACP called on workers to stay with the NUM.

"The SACP calls on the workers to remain true and steadfast in their support and membership of the NUM, the only truly revolutionary union in the sector that will advance their interests and aspirations," Maleka said.

He called on police to stop killings at Lonmin. In the latest murder, a woman NUM shop steward was shot dead at the company's Rowland shaft on Monday.

"The best way to honour all those who have perished in and around Marikana is a stronger NUM," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    sacp  |  ian farlam  |  marikana inquiry  |  marikana anniversary
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