Marikana miners' lawyers want out

2012-10-23 11:42

Rustenburg - Lawyers for miners arrested and injured in a shooting at Marikana told a judicial commission of inquiry on Tuesday that they are considering pulling out of the proceedings.

"We have found a pattern characterised by many things... treating victims of this matter with such disdain that we can't continue," advocate Dali Mpofu told the inquiry's chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam.

"There has been a refusal by government to assist representatives of the victims... even with logistical support."

The police opened fire while trying to disperse a group encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 mineworkers and wounding 78 on August 16.

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.

Legal assistance

Workers at the mine went on strike on August 10, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500. Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and two of them security guards.

Mpofu represents the 78 injured and the 275 mineworkers arrested after the shooting.

The miners arrested were originally charged with the murder of their 34 colleagues, but charges were dropped pending the outcome of the Farlam Commission.

Mpofu said he had approached Legal Aid SA for financial assistance for the arrested miners, some of whom were among the injured.

"We received a very crass response [on Monday] which says they won't be funding them."

The only people who would receive financial support during the inquiry were the families of the miners who had died.

"So they are saying that they [the miners] should have wished they had died," said Mpofu.

Evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga told Mpofu he would speak to Legal Aid and try and sort out the situation.

‘Grown men were crying’

Mpofu said he would be grateful for any intervention.

The commission's terms of reference identified three sets of victims, the families of the dead, the workers arrested and the injured.

"Yes, of course the most affected are those who lost family members," he said. "[However] those who were injured are equally traumatised."

Mpofu said he and his legal team met last week with the more than 200 miners they were representing at the hill where the August 16 shooting happened.

"Grown men were crying," he said.

Mpofu said his clients had been unjustly treated.

He also said five of his witnesses - two of them key witnesses - had been arrested.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-23 12:02

    Grown men were crying...are these the same men that were brandishing dangerous weapons on top of a hill and were prepared to kill and then charged police??!! Amongst these strikers are murderers of 10 innocent people!! - 2012-10-23 12:14

      Exactly. What do you expect when you threaten someone with weapons. You brought a knife to a gunfight. And on top of it you started the fight. Now that you lost you are crying foul. Well act like a decent human being and you will be treated like one.

      djgmaestro - 2012-10-23 12:39

      these comments are one sided!

      peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-23 13:29

      YEs they are one sided because only one side is right and its def not the miners!

  • Andrea - 2012-10-23 12:05

    Mpofu, all of this misery was self inflicted, and why don't you just work for free? Chicken wings too expensive now that everything has gone up since the strike your clients originally started spread to other industries within SA? No sympathy or support from me. You and your kind need to think before you do.

      Sheilan.Clarke - 2012-10-23 12:10

      "Chicken wings too expensive now that everything has gone up since the strike your clients originally started spread to other industries within SA?" Are we talking about the same strike? I'm confused. So many strikes going on here it's hard to keep up. haha

      Andrea - 2012-10-23 12:27

      If memory serves, the Marikana strike started in early August and thereafter we had other mines, truck drivers etc. following suit. No petrol, empty shelves in Pick n Pay, etc. etc. etc. Surely you can remembr this?

      Sheilan.Clarke - 2012-10-23 12:39

      Yes, yes. :D Gosh so hard to keep up.

      djgmaestro - 2012-10-23 12:50

      I didn't know that the poor black people's strike does affect the wealthy, high and mighty superior beings.

      eugene.meyer1980 - 2012-10-23 13:43

      Yes djgmaestro, a strike affects everyone. Even the wealthy, high and mighty superior beings, as you put it. Thing to keep in mind is, it doesnt affect the wealthy, high and mighty superior beings as much as it affects the strikers. I think Marikana should give you the picture now. TO shoot yourself in the foot is one thing, but to shoot yourself in the foot while its stuck in your mouth is another. Just something to keep in mind while you support a strike again.

  • kaapse.snaai - 2012-10-23 12:09

    Hey I've just met you but I think there's something fishy about this...First it was the SAHRC, now the lawyers.... Mangaung maybe?

  • pdvermaak - 2012-10-23 12:14

    They STORMED the police with weapons on a eleagal strike.......... and now they want payment from the goverment. Eish, I don't know anymore. Please can somebody explain this to me so I can see the logic in this claims. To good to be tru... and the miners beleive they have a right to be paid.

  • JohnDough - 2012-10-23 12:20

    Shame Dali, no money to feather your nest? Then quit and someone else who has better morals can take over.

  • Jenny - 2012-10-23 12:20

    First of all - there are video footage showing there were guns as well. Second of all - we are all paying for the decisions these strikers made. No sympathy from me. Go and ask Juju to fund them seeing that he was the one who encouraged them to keep on striking!

      Andrea - 2012-10-23 12:27

      Brilliant idea, thanks Jenny. Funny that Juliarse is so quiet now.

  • makavelithedonkilluminati.shakur - 2012-10-23 12:24

    are we chickening out are we?

  • John.Yossarian22 - 2012-10-23 12:27

    Why are my sympathy levels so low?

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-23 12:28

    The scum does not deserve legal representation so pull out and get real.

  • Erna - 2012-10-23 12:30

    If he feels so sorry for the miners, why doesn't Mpofu work for free?

  • Ntu2ko - 2012-10-23 12:34

    this is not right how can a government which is democratically appointed treat people like this, reminds me pre 94

  • tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-23 12:37

    At the end, who is going to pay the lawyers. As I understand it, money lenders are making a killing at the moment due to lack of pay for the miners. Even if they get what they want, the miners are probably going to spend at least a couple of months paying back these money sharks. So, who's going to pay the Lawyers: Malema, the ANCYL, the Unions, Government?

  • Nare James Mashamaite - 2012-10-23 12:37

    So you would rather have ur money build an underground compound than the little on miners who lack knowledge n act out of angher, which is human? think again!

  • cindy.wrathex.ruthven - 2012-10-23 12:40

    What is your thoughts and intentions, when you wake up in the morning and you take your big panga out? Is there love and peace on your mind ? War at the mines I wear my panga oh cry for me Marikana Pangas are not little harmless knives. Pangas are big and lethal weapons. These machetes are not toys or cultural icons. They are used for killing far too often in South Africa. Ban this agricultural tool from being worn or brandished in public once and for all !

  • AMNewman - 2012-10-23 12:42

    The current score of 17 comments equals 17 idiots! Let the Farlam commission determine what actually happened first before you pronounce on what has happened. Secondly, if a significant quantity of contributors to this inquiry are denied access to 'legal rights,' don't expect them to be co-operative. There are so many similarities between the Marikana Incident and apartheid era inquiries, it is scary.

  • Andrea - 2012-10-23 12:43

    Nare, there is absolutely nothing 'human' about hacking fellow man to death.

  • maricha.knightvanheerden - 2012-10-23 12:56

    surely Julius will foot the bill? Amazing how a lawyer makes a bee-line out of a case when he might not get paid!

      thembapat.mthini - 2012-10-23 23:23

      Well said Maricha, i think the lawyer was hoping to make millions out of this case.

  • Phindile Manganyi - 2012-10-23 13:00

    government is corrupt

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-10-23 13:08

    Maybe these grown men should think before they try murder police in cold blood or try to kill them with traditional weapons, dont come here with your tendencies fool

  • parys.fotograaf - 2012-10-23 13:14

    They did their thing, disturbing the taxpayers peace and attacking the cops, now we the taxpayer must help them? Why on this green earth should we, except if we are stupid.

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-23 13:29

    Please man what rubbish these miners are just out for money because they have no money left after the strike let them suffer!!! AS for the Lawyer he only wants to pull out because he can see that there will be no money for him from this!!

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-10-23 13:55

    The government isn't helping this white oke with logitcal support or any other support for my previous corrupt employer. So why do these miners need support from government? They need to be sent back to nigeria and zimbabwe where they came from.

  • hendriek.woede - 2012-10-23 14:01

    It's clear that everyone wants to milk govt. Your clients should pay, who did you think should pay for your clients? Govt? When your clients asked you to rep them did you discuss financial matter or they didn't ask you,or you just volunteered with the assumption that govt will pour money?

  • mehluleli.majajini - 2012-10-23 14:27

    Winnie, Julius and Mpofu......ha ha ha, birds of the same feather... controversy always

  • ntsika.nkabinde - 2012-10-23 14:56

    this thing is not a racial issue, if you put your self into situations knowingly that you might die, dont blame anybody else but your self, you don't need a rocket scientist to figure it out for that if you shoot at the police, policemen will simply shoot to kill its with their right to protect themselves , therefore people should not be sensitive and look at the situation objectively, it very sad how people can twist the truth, but truth is the truth, lets face it, thisw is reality not a movie, we not invinsible to bullets you simply need to satay away from such issues if you can hadle it

  • baldersnatch - 2012-10-23 17:56

    Nothing wrong with grown men crying.

  • precious.yumyum - 2012-10-24 04:48

    i pray for the demise of the anc everyday. vote 4zuma to ensure a speedy downfall of the anc. this country needs to be liberated fro the anc. it is time for a party that is ready to govern. i have the democratic alliance in mind. they are not perfect but they are doing a great job with the 3years they have governed in the western cape.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-10-24 10:25

    Maybe now these people will understand the value of money, and that playing around with strikes and such is just a big waste of money.

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