Marikana case about funding - lawyer

2013-07-12 18:58
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - A court application for miners wounded and arrested in Marikana last year was not about their legal representation, a government lawyer said on Friday.

"This case is not about the right to legal representation. This is a case about public funding," Marius Oosthuizen told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

He is representing President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe in the matter.

Lawyer Dali Mpofu brought the urgent application in court on Thursday and argued the miners were entitled to legal representation at the State's expense.

Mpofu, who is representing the miners at the hearings of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, wants Zuma and Radebe to approve payment for the mineworkers' legal team.

"Nobody said they can't have legal representation," Oosthuizen said.

"This case is whether the public purse should be opened up for the applicant."

If the application was granted, it could set a precedent for public funding.

"This is something not to be rushed into in a matter of days," Oosthuizen said.

The Farlam Commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 34 striking mineworkers shot by police on 16 August at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

It is also investigating the deaths of 10 people in strike-related violence the previous week.

Read more on:    jeff radebe  |  jacob zuma  |  dali mpofu  |  marikana inquiry

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