Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
28 May 2015
11:26 am

Relatives of slain Marikana miners want report released

Ngwako Modjadji

Relatives of slain Marikana miners have asked Judge Ian Farlam to release his report into the massacre.

FILE PICTURE: People are gathered at Nkaneng behind the Lonmin mine on August 16, 2013, in Rustenburg, South Africa. On August 16, 2012, 34 miners were shot and killed by police during a wage dispute in what is now called the Marikana massacre. An event was held in remembrance of the tragedy. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

The request comes a day after President Jacob Zuma said he would release it before the end of next month. Thirty seven mine workers were shot dead by police during a protracted and often violent strike on the platinum belt in the North West on 16 August 2012.

On Wednesday, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri) and the legal resources centre pleaded with Farlam and his commissioners to release the much-awaited report.

Seri director of litigation, Nomzamo Zondo, said: “Our clients are aware that the commission has had the power to release the report to the public for more than five weeks.

“They accept that this has not occurred to allow the president a reasonable period of time to consider the report and prepare a response.”

Zondo said the prescribed period had expired and there was no legitimate reason for Zuma to hang onto the report.

“The families request that Judge Farlam make an undertaking that, should the president not release the report by June 1, he will release it on June 2, or provide reasons for refusing to do so,” Zondo said.

“A particular concern of the families is the risk that the dates on which their claims against the State prescribe will arrive before the report has been published.”

She said this would hamper them in pursuing their claims, and possibly lead to wasted time and costs in amending pleas to take account of the contents of the report.

Meanwhile, the legal threat to force Zuma to release the report continues. Attorney Andries Nkome, representing the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said the matter will be filled at the North Gauteng High Court on Friday.

“We are almost done with consulting our clients,” Nkome told The Citizen. “The majority of them are saying we must proceed with legal action.”

He said there was no reason for Farlam to finish his report in three months and then for Zuma to take another three months to read it.

“Zuma has long said recommendations in the report are serious,” Nkome said. “This means he has finished reading the report.”

ngwakom@citizen.co.za