Marikana lawyers apply for postponement

2013-07-22 13:11
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Lawyers representing the wounded and arrested Marikana miners at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry sought a three-week postponement of its public hearings on Monday.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, for the miners, said he wanted time to approach the Constitutional Court in his quest to have the State fund the workers' legal representation.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria turned down his application for funding last week.

"The intention was to appeal directly to appeal to the Constitutional Court," Mpofu said in Pretoria on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the [high court] judge was not prepared to hand down his written judgment [last week]. He said he still wanted to edit a few parts."

Judge Joseph Raulinga's ruling would form part of his appeal.

"We tried to put some subtle pressure, on the basis that we have to attach the judgment [to] the application. The best we got is that he would do it on Tuesday. By tomorrow we will have the judgment," Mpofu said.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during labour unrest at Lonmin's platinum in Marikana, North West, last August.

Postponement application

On Monday, Mpofu asked retired Judge Ian Farlam, who chairs the commission, to postpone the public hearings until 19 August.

"What we are asking the commission is not something that is easy. We would rather have a situation of where the power of what happens is taken back to the hands of the commission [than] to have this drama of people walking out," he said.

"We ask the commission to hear our plea. We would like to shorten the time within which we will, under pressure, draft the papers to the Constitutional Court and appeal to the Chief Justice to hear this matter expeditiously."

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the families of the miners killed in Marikana, supported Mpofu’s postponement application.

He would be part of the Constitutional Court appeal process.

On 21 June, Mpofu told the commission it could be his last day representing the miners because of financial constraints.

He then brought the urgent high court application asking for President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to approve payment for the mineworkers' legal team.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  jeff radebe  |  dumisa ntsebeza  |  ian farlam  |  jacob zuma  |  dali mpofu  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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