Marikana families want to be at inquiry

2012-10-29 07:16

Johannesburg - The families of the victims of the Marikana killings want to attend the Farlam Commission of Inquiry and need funds to travel, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri) said on Sunday.

"They want to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones on 16 August. They want the opportunity to see the evidence unfold," Seri said in a statement.

"They particularly want to see and hear for themselves what the police have to say about their conduct."

Seri has been instructed to represent the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and 21 families of people who were killed by the police on August 16, at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

The department of justice said on Saturday, it would no longer provide funding for the families to attend the commission hearings in Rustenburg.

The organisation said it was "shocked and appalled" at the decision by the department of justice to suspend the funding.

"The decision was taken without prior notice or consultation. Our clients are distraught,"

In its statement on Saturday, the department of justice said that some of the families of victims said they would rather have the travel money paid to them directly as they were struggling due to the loss of their breadwinners.

Seri said this was "grossly misleading" and denied that their clients had told the department they did not want to travel to the hearings.

"They very much wish to do so. They are deeply upset that the Department has, at the eleventh hour, decided that they will not be assisted to attend the Commission's hearings when it reconvenes on Oct 29," the organisation said.

Seri said the suggestion by the department that the families were choosing between travel funding or financial assistance for daily necessities was also misleading.

"The truth is that the Department of Justice is not willing to assist our clients at all - either to attend the Commission, or to feed their families," the organisation said.

"Its decision to withdraw its support is immoral and, in our view, unlawful."

The department had helped pay the travel costs of the families to attend the first session of the inquiry but financing further attendance would be left to the families themselves.

Many of the families of victims are not from North West but other provinces such as the Eastern Cape.

"The attendance of the first session of the commission was mainly based on humanitarian basis as it is important that they understand the primary purpose of the inquiry," said department of justice spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said.

"Further attendance of the inquiry would be left to the choice of the families themselves."

He said the department could not continue funding the travel of family members to attend the commission because it had no legislative basis.

If family members were called as witnesses to the commission, their travel expenses would be covered.

  • demi.cooke.7 - 2012-10-29 07:30

    There is never money for the people that really need it

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-29 07:51

      @Demi Sorry, but I disagree. 1 The hearings are open to the public - buy a ticket and get there. 2 Witnesses can get travel relief. 3 If the miners had not undertaken an illegal strike, at which event, they came armed, none of this would have happened, and they would still have had salaries (and not bad ones). These people must understand that their actions have consequences. My last word of advice to all strikers is, "Do not threaten an armed man with a spear, just in case he feels the need to defend himself".

      demi.cooke.7 - 2012-10-29 08:07

      @yarwellnofine - i do see your point, but its probably the emotional side i feel for them, they are trying to find closure and I just feel that the dept of justice should be more compassionate about this

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-29 08:22

      Hi Demi I understand, and I also feel sorry for the families. The sad fact is that their uncontrolled emotions got them into this mess in the first place. What does it take for them to start to think rationally? The salaries and benefits that they recieved even before the strike were not that bad. Well over R11K per month. Lonmin is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Their emotional actions will mean that many will lose their jobs. This is already happening on other mines. They should have celebrated the fact that they even had jobs. Spare a thought for the unemloyed. They have been dumb enough to become canon-fodder in a meaningles war between one evil union and a stupid one.

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-10-29 08:40

      Agree with yar.wellnofine - If SERI feels so strongly that they should be ther, then they should find sponsors. Take for example the Dewani court case, Anis family wants to attend the proceedings in Cpae Town, should the Dept. of Justice pay for them as well, even if they just want closure by listening to all that happened. Soory call me cruel, but no. They may come at their own expense!

      demi.cooke.7 - 2012-10-29 09:05

      Yip I guess you right with the transport issue - I do hope the proceedings are dealt with in an honest and open way even which has had a bad start with the police video technician not filming anything, but let hope justice gets done all round

      mshiniboys - 2012-10-29 09:43

      yar.wellnofine you speak as if animals were killed and I find it great that you seem not to care at all.If I were you I would just shut up and listen to people who have constructive comments to make because right now I feel like pulling your balls out.

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-29 11:54

      @mshiniboys Who mentioned animals. You not me. I do care. Certainly more than the unions who caused this problem. The chip on your shoulder is obscuring your vision.

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-10-29 07:33

    Why does the department then not get these legislative rights or what ever it needs and then invite one member of ALL the families who lost their lives to the commision for the duration and put closure on this blight in our history.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-10-29 07:39

    Firstly, this commission is funded by taxpayer money and cost thereof is estimated to be in excess of R74M, while I have sympathy with the deceased families question why we the general taxpayer must foot the extra money for the families to attend. Bear in mind the spending of the present government leaves a lot to be desired. We and I in particular live off a fixed amount being retired without any increase in the forseeable future still pay my tax that is due to the government.

      demi.cooke.7 - 2012-10-29 07:47

      If I had a choice as a taxpayer, pay for these people or the Zulu King, his empty palaces, millions of wives and children in private schools, I choose this - but then again we have no choice

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-29 11:02

      Andrew,Taxpayer'sfunds are gonna end up not ACCOUNTED FOR anyway-so it might just aswell be a good thing for taxpayers to 'APPROVE' these costs.

  • ben.spreeth - 2012-10-29 07:43

    Maybe a buffalo could be sold to cover the cost. As the union meant nothing to them it might be a good idea for all workers in S.Africa to cancel their union membership and use the money to buy life insurance.

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-10-29 08:41

      Whose buffalo?

      cecilhstephens - 2012-10-29 08:51

      The unions started this crap, they collect there monthly subs from the masses so let them foot the bill, what are the contributions been used for ? to line fat arrse wallets

      ben.spreeth - 2012-10-29 09:11

      nosiphom, Cyril would know.

  • marc.hugo.75 - 2012-10-29 07:45

    Families(numbers undisclosed) want to be there. But the need moeny to get there. Well, this circus is being paid for by the abused taxpayers of SA so I believe when I speak on their behalf: the answer is no.

  • edwin.morena.3 - 2012-10-29 07:48

    The department is absolutely bias in its own conduct. It shows that it does not care @ all.

      pamela.ngobese.1 - 2012-10-29 08:21

      There are many people who attend cases of their loved ones wth their own cash !! What so special abt dis case!!! The miners commted suicide no one killed them

  • osama.pascal - 2012-10-29 08:19

    R20 million should be used to enable the poor berieved families to attend enquiry instead of funding one man (Zuma) who is trying so hard to avoid personal criminal case of corruption against him.

  • Phiri Mokonenyane - 2012-10-29 09:25

    unions shud pay #viva Zwelinzima Vavi ur the leader of the ppl the blue collers families need yo help n rescue the sinking ship of trade unions

      ben.spreeth - 2012-10-29 09:31

      One sinking ship which should have been at the bottom of the ocean long ago.

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-29 10:41

    I watched an Adv Skosana being INTERVIED by Vuyo Mvoko on National TV-According to this ARTICLE;HE LIED when he said the families didn't want to be there.He also said that there was NO LEGAL OBLIGATION for either the DoJ

  • Andrea - 2012-10-29 11:00

    Well, if everybody who have lost a loved one due to ongoing violence and criminal acts were to be compensated the way these people want to be paid, Zoema will have no money in his kitty for upgrading his bomb shelter. MANY families have lost their breadwinners as a result of murder, hijacking, armed robberies etc. etc. etc. and they have all had to learn to make ends meet in other ways. If these families get what they ask for, well, then we all should get what is due to us as well.

  • netswera.livhuwani - 2012-10-29 12:00

    Vote for the ANC and get killed.

  • gazaspells - 2012-11-05 14:30

    this is a tragedy that has brought into focus the issues that still plague this beautiful african country mainly high levels of inequality, a majority who are very poor, a minority who are rich, high unemployment and high corruption in the face of an indifferent government which is riddled with incompetence and corruption .

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