Legal Aid to pay Marikana miners, pending appeal

FILE PICTURE: Advocate Dali Mpofu. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Legal Aid SA has been ordered to pay the legal fees of Marikana miners pending its appeal, the miners’ legal team said on Wednesday.

“They [Legal Aid SA] succeeded in their application to appeal and we also succeeded in our application for them to pay,” said Musi Msimang.

“It is a win-win situation. They are going to pay while their appeal is being considered.”

He said the appeal would not affect the Farlam Commission of Inquiry if it was brought before the Supreme Court of Appeal after the commission had completed its work.

The commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mine at Marikana, near Rustenburg, in North West.

Police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mineworkers, wounded 70 and arrested 250 at Marikana on August 16, 2012. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

The commission is expected to complete its hearings by April 30.

“It takes a year or more for an appeal to be heard. It will have no bearing on Marikana…. Maybe in future cases, but not Marikana,” said Msimang.

On Wednesday, Legal Aid SA was granted leave to appeal the decision of the High Court in Pretoria that it pay the legal fees of the wounded and arrested miners.

The ruling compelling Legal Aid SA to pay was made in October.


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