Lawyers back at Marikana inquiry

2013-10-15 12:31
Ian Farlam (Picture: AP)

Ian Farlam (Picture: AP)

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Marikana miners to receive funding

2013-10-14 14:03

The South Gauteng High Court has ruled that miners who survived the Marikana shooting and the families of those who died must receive legal funding from the state. WATCH

Pretoria - Lawyers for the miners wounded and arrested at Marikana returned to the public hearings of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday.

The miners' legal team, led by Dali Mpofu SC, had temporarily withdrawn from the inquiry because of a lack of funding, pending a review application to set aside a decision by the justice minister and the Legal Aid Board to refuse the miners state funding.

At the time of the withdrawal, Mpofu said without the miners' input the commission's only function would be to "whitewash the police".

On Monday the South Gauteng High Court ordered Legal Aid SA to pay the legal costs of the survivors of the Marikana shooting.

Other legal teams back

Other legal teams which had pulled out in solidarity with Mpofu and the families of the deceased mineworkers, particularly the widows, were also present at the inquiry on Tuesday.

President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Joseph Mathunjwa, sat amongst the families.

With his hands over his mouth, Mathunjwa listened attentively as evidence leader Matthew Chaskalson SC cross-examined Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Scott about the methods police employed to stop the strike-related protests in the Rustenburg area last year.

The inquiry, sitting in Centurion, is probing the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, North West. The police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking workers, wounded 70, and arrested 250 on 16 August 2012. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

President Jacob Zuma established the judicial commission, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, shortly after the unrest.

Read more on:    legal aid sa  |  dali mpofu  |  marikana inquiry

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