Marikana Inquiry end in sight

FILE PIC: Retired Judge Ian Farlam. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Monday concluded the phase of receiving evidence from witnesses.

“This brings the evidentiary aspect of the commission to a conclusion. We will hear arguments on dates that have been communicated to the parties informally,” commission chairman, retired Judge Ian Farlam, said in Pretoria.

He said the dates for arguments would be made public after President Jacob Zuma signed a proclamation extending the inquiry’s lifespan.

In June, Zuma extended the inquiry to September 30. The inquiry held initial public hearings in October 2012.

The inspection scheduled for Tuesday would complement another one which ended abruptly earlier this month.

On September 8, an inspection near the site in Marikana, North West, where striking Lonmin miners were shot, was terminated due to security concerns.

Chaos erupted when a woman wearing a red National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) T-shirt joined the inspection. Miners threatened her, shouting obscenities.

The area has been marked by rivalry between NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

Farlam intervened, telling the miners to “cut the nonsense”, but his calls went unheeded.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with the police on August 16. More than 70 people were wounded and more than 200 were arrested. The police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

Earlier this month, Farlam said Monday’s inspection would focus only on areas linked to the August 16 shootings.


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