Marikana relived at inquiry tomorrow

2012-09-30 10:00
Lucas Ledwaba
Memories of August 16, the bloody day on which 34 mine workers were shot dead by ­police, will be relived tomorrow when the Marikana Commission of Inquiry visits the site of the shooting.

This is the first of various steps the commission – ­appointed by President Jacob Zuma – will take to unravel the truth about what happened ­during the bloody strike that left 44 people dead.

The final death toll, however, has risen to 46.

But the deaths of National ­Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward Dumisani Mthinti, who was hacked to death, and ANC councillor Paulinah Masutlo, who died after being shot with a rubber bullet, fall outside the commission’s terms of ­reference.

The commission will begin at the Rustenburg Civic Centre from tomorrow.

The morning session is ­expected to be followed by a ­visit to the site where the shooting took place.

Other sites expected to be ­visited by the commission ­include the Wonderkop hill, mine shafts, the informal and formal settlements of Marikana and surrounding areas where the miners live, as well as any other site about which evidence is likely to be led.

The commission has been mandated to determine the roles played by Lonmin, the ­police, the Association of ­Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the NUM in the lead up to, during and after the shooting.

“It is further expected in the execution of its functions to ­determine whether any of the role- players mentioned above could have done or put measures in place to prevent the sad turn of events,” the department of ­justice said in a statement.

The commission is further ­required to submit interim ­reports and recommendations to Zuma every month prior to the final report being presented to him.

The commission will have to submit its first interim report on or before October 12.

Retired judge Ian Farlam will chair the commission.

He will be assisted by advocates Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Matthew Chaskalson and Geoff Budlender – all of whom are ­senior counsel – and evidence will be led by Johannes Nxusana and Charles Wessley.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA said it had been instructed to represent Amcu and the families of 19 of the ­deceased.

The inquiry will cost the government more than R70 million in the next four months.