Govt taking sides - Marikana widow

2013-09-12 19:30
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - The widow of a slain Marikana miner accused the government on Thursday of taking sides by funding one party over another at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

"Government is taking sides, as if the commission is being held for the police only," Zameka Nungu said at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

She said the workers wanted their counsel Dali Mpofu and his team to represent them and not state lawyers.

The government's failure to fund the workers' legal team would result in the truth about what happened in Marikana not being known, she said.

"I still don't know what happened. I want to know why they were shot."

The Farlam Commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people in strike-related violence near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, last year.

On 16 August 2012, police shot dead 34 people, mainly mineworkers, while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, died in the preceding week.

Nungu said she had struggled to raise her children since her husband's death.

"I have hope that the Lord will answer," she said.

Funding needed

Mpofu recently provisionally withdrew from the commission's hearings after failing to get state funding for himself and his team.

On Monday, the commission's chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, ruled that the commission would continue after Mpofu lodged an application to have it postponed until he secured funding.

Farlam found it would not be prejudicial to Mpofu's clients to continue the hearings in his absence.

The march was organised by Citizens4Marikana, a group who came together through social media on the first anniversary of the Marikana shootings.

It wanted to appeal directly to President Jacob Zuma for legal funding in its quest to get to the truth about what happened at Marikana, spokesperson Erik de Ridder said on Monday.

March convenor Bishop Joe Seoka said on Thursday that the Marikana Dignity Trust, which was established to further the cause of the miners, would also be used to restore the dignity of the Marikana community.

"It will also be used to assist with counselling because people were traumatised by what they witnessed on the day," he said.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  jacob zuma  |  dali mpofu  |  marikana inquiry

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