Marikana probe 'will be quick, thorough'

2012-10-01 12:39
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Rustenburg - The judicial commission of inquiry into the shootings at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana will conduct its work with speed, retired judge Ian Farlam said in Rustenburg on Monday.

However, Farlam said the inquiry would be thorough in its processes, in a bid to extract and expose the truth.

"Our country weeps because of the tragic loss and this commission will work expeditiously to ensure the truth is revealed," he said at the opening of the hearings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

"We need to be expeditious, but at the same time we need to be thorough in our work."

The evidence-leading team introduced themselves to the judge, flanked by two other commissioners - advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.

Afterwards, the legal representatives for different parties - the families of the miners killed, Lonmin management, police, trade unions, and the group of 270 miners arrested for public violence - also introduced themselves.

Farlam earlier opened proceedings by addressing the families of those killed on 16 August.

"We want to acknowledge and thank you for making time [for the inquiry]. We cannot measure your grief and loss."

Formal sittings

He said the commission would make sure it established the truth about how and why the shooting happened.

"[However] we will do everything to make sure the commission will not add to your grief."

The names of those killed were read out. Relatives who were present at the commission were asked to stand as their family member's name was read out. Everyone attending the inquiry was then asked to stand for a minute of silence.

All parties involved would on Monday go to the scene of the shootings. People would be allowed to point out places which they considered relevant to the inquiry. The descriptions of what happened at the site would be recorded. The in loco inspections could continue on Tuesday.

Formal sittings of the commission were expected to start at the civic centre on Wednesday.

In August, President Jacob Zuma announced a three-member judicial commission of inquiry to probe the mine violence.

- SAPA
Read more on:    ian farlam  |  jacob zuma  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry
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