Marikana lawyer takes government to court for financial assistance

2013-06-20 14:01

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Lawyer Dali Mpofu is to take President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to court to get state funding for victims of last year’s Marikana shooting.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Marikana Commission of Inquiry hearing in Centurion today, he said he would lodge an urgent application in the high court in Pretoria this week.

“This is about what we call equality of arms. This inquiry is not an investigation, but a mission to find the truth ... You cannot sponsor one party and ignore the other.”

Mpofu represents the miners injured in the shooting in August, and those arrested afterwards. He said his clients had the right to get financial assistance, just as the SA Police Service was getting state funding for legal representation.

Mpofu successfully lodged an application with the commission, and asked that the inquiry be moved from its original venue at the Rustenburg Civic Centre to Pretoria.

He cited limited resources at his disposal and mounting expenses owing to the travelling to, and accommodation costs in, Rustenburg.

Mpofu would not say how much money he was seeking from government. The court papers were expected to be filed tomorrow.

Police shot dead 34 striking miners in Marikana, North West, on August 16 last year when trying to disperse them.

The commission is investigating events that led to the shooting as well as the deaths of 10 people in strike-related violence the previous week.

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