Lack of Marikana support slammed

2013-07-18 09:49
Johannes Seoka. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)

Johannes Seoka. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - It is unforgivable that the Marikana miners, their families and legal representatives are not receiving financial support from the government for the duration of the commission, the Bench Marks foundation said on Thursday.

The absence of funding indicated the "paucity of commitment by government to get to the bottom of what actually happened on that fateful day", foundation chairperson Bishop Jo Seoka, said in a statement.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 34 striking mineworkers shot by police at Marikana in North West on 16 August last year, and the deaths of 10 people in strike-related violence the previous week.

Dali Mpofu, representing the wounded and arrested miners at the commission's hearings, had brought an urgent application for the state to fund their legal representation.

State payment

Mpofu wants President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to approve state payment of the mineworkers' legal team.

Seoka said financial support had been extended, but to a select few.

"While some parties, such as the minister of police, have the means to hire a senior advocate to sit and listen to the proceedings due to state support, others are unable to have legal representation at all due to lack of funds," Seoka said.

He hoped Mpofu's application would be successful.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will make a finding on the application on Thursday.

Mpofu has provisionally withdrawn from the commission pending the outcome of the court case.

Two other parties participating in the commission - the Legal Resources Centre and the families of the miners killed - have also provisionally withdrawn.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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