Marikana: Do we need the lawyers?

2013-09-15 10:00

When the Farlam commission of inquiry started its work last October, it was hailed by many as a way to seek and interrogate the truth of what really happened on a koppie in Marikana last August.

The police would give their side of the story. Mining house Lonmin would be able to share its version.

And crucially, the miners who watched their brothers fall to police bullets on August 16 would be able to explain what they believed had happened.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now, nearly a year into the commission’s work, there are far more questions than answers.

The biggest question by far is whetherthe structure of South Africa’s commissions of inquiry needs to be seriously reconsidered and reconstituted.

The past few months have been marred by fights between Advocate Dali Mpofu (for the miners) and the state, which he believes should pay his not-immodest legal fees so that he can continue his work.

But is Mpofu – and the other high-powered lawyers at the commission – really needed?

Why can’t the evidence leaders – skilled legal minds who are paid by the state and were hand-picked by retired Judge Ian Farlam to do the bulk of the work – shoulder the load alone?

Certainly, the miners deserve excellent representation, but if we were to level the playing fields by removing all parties’ lawyers, the footing would be equal and perhaps the commission could begin to focus on what really matters: finding the truth.

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


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
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.