Legal Aid SA examines Marikana ruling

2013-10-14 21:23

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Johannesburg - A ruling by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday compelling Legal Aid SA to pay the legal costs of survivors of the Marikana shooting was being considered, the organisation said.

"We are studying the judgment in consultation with the management board and will be in a position to comment further in due course," Legal Aid SA spokesperson Mpho Phasha said in a statement.

The application was bought by Dali Mpofu, who represents the miners wounded and arrested in the shooting on 16 August last year.

He provisionally withdrew from the inquiry because of a lack of funding.

On 18 July, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed Mpofu's application for the State to fund legal representation for the victims of the Marikana shootings.

On 19 August, the Constitutional Court refused leave to appeal the high court's ruling.

Earlier, Mpofu's attorney Musi Msimang hailed the ruling as "good news for justice".

Justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe found the ruling, in respect of his office, "acceptable".

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri), which represents the families of miners who died at Marikana, welcomed the court's decision.

"This judgment is a victory for the victims of Marikana who stood united in the fight for the funding of the injured and arrested miners," said the families' attorney Nomzamo Zondo.

"The families feel vindicated that their decision to withdraw from the [Farlam] Commission in order to support the miners was warranted, even though they themselves were funded."

Ruling hailed

The Democratic Alliance also hailed the decision compelling Legal Aid to pay the arrested and wounded miners' legal fees for the Farlam Commission.

"The judgment presents an opportunity for the victims' families to pursue justice through the commission investigating this horrific tragedy," DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.

"Today our Constitution and rule of law have been affirmed."

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin Platinum's operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, in North West, last year.

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 in strike-related violence.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  da  |  legal aid sa  |  dali mpofu  |  mmusi maimane  |  johannesburg  |  marikana inquiry

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