SAHRC seeks Marikana funding solution

2013-08-20 08:00
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One year since Marikana

Co-workers and relatives of 34 miners shot dead by during the violent wage strikes a year ago gather in Marikana to mark the first anniversary of their deaths. See the pictures.

Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) are heartened by the Constitutional Court ruling in relation to the fairness of proceedings without funding for the injured and arrested Marikana miners.

"The SAHRC and CALS considers that there is a real risk of unfairness, and a real risk that the purpose of the commission will be compromised, if adequate legal representation is not afforded to the injured and arrested miners of Marikana," SAHRC spokesperson Wisani Baloyi said.

He said that while the court held that it did not have power to order the executive branch of government on how to deploy state resources, it recognised that "it would be commendable and fairer to the applicants that they be afforded legal representation at state expense in circumstances where state organs are given these privileges and where mining companies are able to afford the huge legal fees involved".

With this in mind, the SAHRC and CALS remained hopeful that funding would be secured so that the Marikana Commission could resume and remain inclusive, providing a voice to some of those most affected by the tragedy at Marikana, Baloyi said.

Azapo reaction

Meanwhile, the Azanian People’s Organization (Azapo) expressed sadness at the ruling. The party accused the African National Congress of using apartheid-like tactics.

Spokesperson Funani ka Ntontela said the ANC government was not different from the apartheid National Party government.

"The Nationalist Party government would kill freedom fighters, then set up pseudo-commissions whose outcomes would be predetermined before the commission is established," he said.

He said the government would be pleased if the commission happened without public scrutiny and an outspoken legal team representing the miners.

"Initially, the legal team was funded, until somehow the funds dried up. The reality is, this government would be happy with the Commission happening without a noisy Dali Mpofu... happening in a dark corner," he said.

Ka Ntontela called on advocate Mpofu and other members of the legal team to embark on a public funding drive.

"There will be many countrymen and women who would be willing to pledge, as the public funded the court case against e-tolling. We call on Dali Mpofu to continue the fight until truth is out on the murder of miners by the ANC government," he said.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  azapo  |  marikana inquiry

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