Slain Marikana guards' families distressed

2012-10-23 14:28
Striking Lonmin workers (Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo, City Press)

Striking Lonmin workers (Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo, City Press)

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Rustenburg - Families of two mine security guards killed in the violence leading to the mass shootings on 16 August at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana were in distress, a lawyer told the judicial commission of inquiry on Tuesday in Rustenburg.

Tshepiso Rampile, for the families, appealed to the commission led by retired judge Ian Farlam to consider the plight of the families.

"The whole future of these two security guards’ families has changed direction and will never again take the same direction. The extent of the hurt and devastation I saw in the families' members really needs attention," said Rampile.

"These families do not have means and are unable to consult in the manner they would want to. If there is a possibility that an interim recommendation for these families can be made, that will be in order," he said.

At that stage Farlam, chairperson of the three member commission instructed the lawyer to contact the evidence leading team and facilitate contact with the families.

Rampile said the two guards, Frans Mabelane and Hassan Fundi, were off-duty on August 12 and were instructed to go back to work to provide reinforcements to contain the volatile protests.

"They were called to come and give back because of the strike," said Rampile.

He said the families, in seeking justice for their slain breadwinners, would want the commission to establish whether the security guards were, among other things, adequately trained and equipped to deal with the dangerous situation.

Days after the guards were killed, police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of protesters encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 mineworkers and wounding 78 on 16 August.

The protesters had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.

Workers at the mine went on strike on August 10, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500. Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen, and two of them the security guards Mabelane and Fundi.

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