Miners' lawyer to call first witness

2013-02-13 08:26
Advocate Dali Mpofu. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

Advocate Dali Mpofu. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

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Johannesburg - Dali Mpofu, the lawyer for the miners injured and arrested during the strike at the Lonmin Platinum mine in Marikana, is expected to call his first witness to testify at the Farlam commission on Wednesday.

Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of protesters gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

Last week, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana was cross-examined.

Zokwana told the commission the NUM would reconcile with the families of those injured and killed during the violent strikes.

"Even if NUM is not found to have contributed [to the violence] NUM will be committed not only to make sure this never happens again, but that mineworkers are united," he said.

He was asked under cross-examination if the union would be willing to reconcile with those affected, if it were found to have contributed to the violence during the Marikana strike.

"I don't think we need to be found guilty to participate," he said.

Zokwana said what had happened at Marikana was an emotional issue, and that as a former mineworker he recalled the pain of seeing a co-worker's body brought up from the mine.

He said the deaths of 44 people at the North West mine in August should not be in vain.

Zokwana said the mining industry needed to change after what happened at Marikana.

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  num  |  dali mpofu  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining  |  mining unrest
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