Mpofu set to return to Marikana inquiry

2013-10-14 14:41
Dali Mpofu (Picture: City Press)

Dali Mpofu (Picture: City Press)

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Pretoria - Lawyers for the miners who were wounded and arrested at Marikana are expected to return to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, the commission heard on Monday.

"We have been informed reliably by one of our colleagues... that the application for funding has succeeded. I wish to place that on record," said George Bizos SC, for the Legal Resources Centre and the Bench Marks Foundation.

The miners' legal team, led by Dali Mpofu, won a court application for state funding in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday.

Bizos said he hoped the court victory would minimise the need for postponements, which had been a frequent feature at the commission.

Funding battle

Mpofu temporarily withdrew from the inquiry because of a lack of funding, pending a review application to set aside a decision by the minister of justice and Legal Aid Board to refuse the miners state funding.

Mpofu said the miners had been denied the right to a fair public hearing and the decision was therefore unconstitutional.

He said that without the miners' input, the commission's only function would be to "whitewash the police".

In July, the high court dismissed an urgent application by the miners for interim funding so they could be represented at the inquiry pending the outcome of their review application.

On 19 August, the Constitutional Court refused Mpofu’s team leave to appeal this ruling because the main issue had not yet been decided.

The inquiry, sitting in Centurion, is looking into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people at Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West last August.

The police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking workers, wounded 70, and arrested 250 on 16 August 2012.

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

Read more on:    ian farlam  |  george bizos  |  dali mpofu  |  marikana inquiry

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