Marikana commission postponed

2012-10-03 12:58

The Marikana Commission of inquiry has been postponed until October 22.

Commission chairperson retired judge Ian Farlam made the announcement shortly after proceedings got under way just after 2pm today.

There was a lengthy break in proceedings this morning after lawyers representing victims of the violence of the Marikana strike and those representing the police and commission members raised concerns about a number of issues.

These include the non-availability of crucial evidence which include postmortem results and pathology reports.

Dumisa Ntsebeza, a lawyer representing 20 of the families of the deceased mine workers, first raised the issue of a postponement on Monday, citing the non-attendance of the families of the deceased.

During the same seating, advocate Ishmael Semenya, who represents the SA Police Service (SAPS), informed the commission that he had received information that ballistic reports would only be available at the end of this month.

Farlam initially rejected the application for a postponement on Monday, saying he did not see how the non-availability of families would prejudice the work of the commission.

He said arrangements could be made to ensure the families attended the proceedings at a later date.

The commission has been mandated to determine the roles played by Lonmin, the police, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the lead up to, during and after the shooting.

The commission, which got under way on Monday, was set to hear evidence today on pathology reports, postmortems and video footage, following yesterday’s in loco inspection of various sites of violent scenes.

However, this did not happen, as the day’s deliberations centred on the issue of a postponement.

Three families of the 46 deceased attended the afternoon session, and Farlam expressed his sympathy for their loss and assured them that the commission will do everything to establish the facts of what led to the tragic events.

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