Marikana funding case dismissed

2013-07-18 15:46

Johannesburg – The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has dismissed an application for the state to fund legal representation for the victims of the Marikana shootings.

"I agree with the state that the application cannot succeed," Judge Joseph Raulinga said on Thursday.

"The application is dismissed. 

“I need to say that nothing prevents the parties from settling this matter outside the courts."

Dali Mpofu, acting for the wounded and arrested Marikana miners at the hearings of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, brought the urgent application for the state to fund their legal representation.

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

Miners and their families packing the courtroom grunted in disapproval when Raulinga made his ruling.

The judge found the application had been urgent and "class action" for the case had been certified.

There was no order as to costs.

"They [the applicants] say the separation of powers is not implicated in this matter, but I disagree," he said.

"The duty of determining how public resources are to be drawn upon... lies in the heartland of the executive."


He said he could only grant such an order if there was proof of unlawfulness, fraud or corruption.

"I do not find any in this case," he said.

Raulinga said it was the prerogative of the executive to decide how to fund commissions.

After Raulinga read the judgment into the record, Mpofu asked him to indicate when the typed judgment would be available so that he could launch an urgent application at the Constitutional Court.

The application was urgent as it would have implications for the commission.

Raulinga said he would try his best to make sure it was available "as soon as possible".

Last Thursday, Mpofu told the court the miners wounded and arrested at Marikana last year were entitled to legal representation at the State's expense.

He told the court the legal team had not received any funding from June to October and that the commission was unlikely to finish its work by its extended deadline of 31 October.

The commission is investigating 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.

Mpofu on Monday provisionally withdrew 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 - also provisionally withdrew.

  • Mpumelelo TF - 2013-07-18 16:01

    Aaaaaaiiiiiiiiii Dali Mpofu have you lost another case???

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-07-18 16:12

      lol, he lost it before it even started

      Klaus Muller - 2013-07-18 16:17

      Well he got paid until those poor suckers money run out, Lawyers of his ilk are not working for the good of humanity, only for money -

  • Sancho De Freitas Harker - 2013-07-18 16:08

    This is going to cause trouble. The people will turn against the commission, which has already gone on WAY too long. We all know what the verdict SHOULD be.. The only thing that this commission is really trying to do is find a way to prove that the cops were innocent - which will never sit well with the families of the miners/wounded/killed. More mining issues to follow I think..

      Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-07-18 16:22

      Exactly, this ruling will just create greater division and stoke flames of unrest. I pity the poor families who now will never hear the truth behind the deaths of their loved ones.

      markt - 2013-07-18 17:11

      It's quite simple. The miners had pangers and knives and proceeded to march on the police in a threatening manner. The police in that situation had no choice but to defend themselves. Now you say "Shame, poor miners." Maybe the two warring unions should pay the families legal bills.

      Bongani Mtsweni - 2013-07-18 19:46

      from the word go there should have never been a commission. The miners thought were law unto themselves. After killing security guards and polimen they thought nothing ca stop them. Even Mpofu himself knows that they are not innocent and he thought the commission will be a gravy train because he nolonger have clients and this backfired on him.

  • Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-07-18 16:11

    Two words that will never be in the same sentence: "free"and "lawyers".

  • Thabo Motsoane - 2013-07-18 16:14

    i still believe the commision itself is a waste of my tax, this case even worse! there are other ways a closure can be achieved and i dont think this is it. as for the truth, who ever knows it?

  • Ommar Oriel Jnr - 2013-07-18 16:18

    Dali would b stupid 2 ever tot state would b against state.let them do whatever they like.time is coming

  • Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-07-18 16:19

    What a tragedy, and on Mandela's birthday too, now justice will never be served.

  • Glynis Walbrugh - 2013-07-18 16:56

    It makes sense that the Government cannot fund representation for a case against itself. Or is the Police Department not a division of Government? Why did the victims pay monthly subscriptions to the unions? Isn't there a clause that part of this is toward legal fees? Now is the time for the unions to put their money where their mouths are.

  • Moshe Maphoru - 2013-07-18 16:57

    What message is Justice Raulinga sending here? Is he implying that the Commission proceed without representation for poor injured miners and deceased ones? Are we going to have a fair public hearing with minors unrepresented? My advise to miners representatives is to withdraw completely from this commission. We cant continue to appear to be careless on the less priviledged like we do.

  • Moshe Maphoru - 2013-07-18 17:08

    @ Clinton. Every person has a right to legal representation whether a murderer, rapist or fradster. You saw your brother [the Modimolle Monster] was convicted yesterday and was represented to ensure a fair trial. They are all [Police and miners]murderers and should be equally represented.

      Nettie Potgieter - 2013-07-18 17:30

      This is not a trail it is a commission. Only if the commission find that there were any wrong doings it can advise that the necessary legal steps can be taken.

      Reinhardt Rossouw - 2013-07-18 18:02

      There are two huge differences in the cases mentioned. One, this is a commission of enquiry and not a criminal hearing. The SAPS was acting in their official capacity upholding law and order, whereas the striking miners were breaking the law. Two, the Modimolle Monster paid for his attorney, the co-accused received state representation. They all got what they deserved. Why don't you pay their legal representation if you feel so strongly about it? The police and military are entitled to legal representation when executing their duties, just accept it.

  • Reinhardt Rossouw - 2013-07-18 17:12

    Yes!! Our justice system STILL works! Think you can go around, cause anarchy, kill innocent people who were doing their jobs and then think the state is going to pay your R26000 per day advocate?! Think again!! Mr Mpofu - there is no big payday for you in this. That's the meaning of pro-bono.

  • Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-07-18 18:36

    The miners should just pull out of this commission. After the Sharpville massacre the was no commission so let's declare august 16 a public holiday.

  • Nhlanganiso Joseph - 2013-07-18 18:37

    Let the commission hear one side of the story the police,the outcome of this circus is very much inconclusive.the powers that be wanted it like that.

  • Chule Qalase - 2013-07-18 19:47

    One day truth will come out and justice will be served to even the ones who make mockery of the sadness and painful experience of others. To all you new24 bloggers who have tended to enjoy making fun of other people's misery just hope nothing of this nature will ever happen to your loved ones.

  • Pieter Grobler - 2013-07-18 20:10

    Sanity prevailed...but for how long?

  • Errol Callaghan - 2013-07-18 20:51

    108 grant recipients against 90 taxpayers, there is more than sufficient money to pay these poor struggling lawyers who seem oblivious of the call by the Chief Justice for lawyers to render services pro bono

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