Funding to Marikana miners means 3 800 poor people won’t get funding – legal aid

2013-11-20 15:26

Legal Aid South Africa (Lasa) has been granted leave to appeal the decision that it should pay the legal fees of the wounded and arrested miners at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

But the appeal is based only on a matter of principle as Lasa has still been ordered to pay the legal fees of the wounded and arrested miners at the commission during its appeal process.

In October, the court ruled that Lasa must make means for the payment of the legal fees of the wounded and arrested miners at the commission.

Lasa representative Advocate Gilbert Marcus argued that the judge had not taken into consideration their budgetary constraints.

“It’s not that there is no money but it’s that the divergence of the money will mean that 3 800 poor and indigent people will not get the funding they require,” said Marcus.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, the legal representative of the wounded and arrested miners, argued that the issue of budgetary constraints was one the court needed to decide upon.

“If government could be allowed to continuously argue budgetary constraints the people’s constitutional rights would never be fulfilled.

“My lord, Legal Aid has been spending millions of rands on the Boeremag trial for 10 years. This is a non-argument. Spending this money is a logical consequence of doing its business,” said Mpofu.

Marcus argued that he understood the judgment ordering Lasa to pay the legal costs of the wounded and arrested to be case-specific.

But this would leave Lasa vulnerable to others who would use the judgment to claim that Lasa had an obligation to pay their fees in future.

“These arguments can be used in cases like the Moloto accident ... or the building that collapsed in Tongaat yesterday. This is the first instance involving a court order directing Lasa to provide and these are compelling enough grounds for the court to grant us leave to appeal,” said Marcus.

The court granted Lasa its leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

After the ruling, Mpofu brought an application requesting that though Lasa will appeal they should still provide funding for the representatives of the wounded and arrested.

Lasa did not oppose the application.

The court ordered Lasa to continue paying for the legal fees of the wounded and arrested miners to avoid more hardship for the respondents and because there was a possibility that the commission would have completed its work by the time the appeal was concluded.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.