South Africa 9.9.2013 07:15 pm

Marikana survivors march to the Union Buildings

FILE PIC: Striking mine workers in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP PHOTO / STRINGER.

FILE PIC: Striking mine workers in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP PHOTO / STRINGER.

The survivors of the Marikana shootings will march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria this week to push for state legal funding, Citizens4Marikana said on Monday.

They had instructed their lawyers to secure permission for the Union Buildings march in order to appeal directly to President Jacob Zuma for legal assistance in their quest to uncover the truth of what happened in August 2012, said Citizens4Marikana spokesman Erik de Ridder.

Citizens4Marikana is a group of ordinary South Africans who came together through social media on the first anniversary of the Marikana shootings, and would join the survivors and the families in the action.

“Legal permission for the Marikana march has been granted,” said De Ridder. The march on Thursday would start at the Caledonian Stadium. Its convenor Bishop Johannes Seoka called on all South Africans to join the march.

“It is time for citizens who believe that the state has an obligation to get to the real truth to stand on the right side of history. “We call on South Africans from all walks of life to join the march to the Union Buildings at this historic moment in our precious democracy’s life,” he said last week.

Citizens4Marikana said it regretted the ruling on Monday that the Farlam Commission of Inquiry would continue with the process in the absence of representatives of injured and arrested miners.

“The absence of the voices of the victims calls into question the ability of the commission to reach a fair and balanced outcome,” it said. The commission’s chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, ruled that it would not be prejudicial to the miners wounded and arrested at Marikana last year to continue the hearings.

The commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest around Lonmin Platinum’s Marikana operations last year.

Thirty-four people were shot dead, almost all of them striking mineworkers, on August 16, 2012, while the police were trying to disperse them. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

The application to postpone the hearings was brought by Dali Mpofu, who represents the arrested and wounded miners. Mpofu and other lawyers have provisionally withdrawn from the commission while he continues to seek funding.

Sapa

 

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