The Marikana Commission of Enquiry has commenced its work

The Marikana Commission of Enquiry has commenced its work in Rustenburg

Judge Ian Farlam
Judge Farlam

The Marikana Commission of Enquiry has commenced its work in Rustenburg  and done an inspection in loco of the site where police killed 34 striking platinum miners on August 16 this year.


As previously reported in Mining Prospectus Online, reired judge Ian Farlam has four months to uncover the events surrounding "Marikana massacre", which sparked intense criticism not only of the police but also of mining bosses, unions, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma.


"Our country weeps because of the tragic loss, and this commission will work expeditiously to ensure the truth is revealed," Farlam told a hearing in the platinum belt city of Rustenburg, 120 km northwest of Johannesburg, the town closest to the Lonmin-owned Marikana mine.


Reuters reports that the names of the 34 dead, most of them from the poor Eastern Cape province, were read out at the start of the inquiry before lawyers for the police, victims' families and 270 miners arrested after the shootings locked horns over procedure.


Reuters says the commission and its findings could be politically damaging to Zuma and the ANC, especially if security forces are found to have been as trigger-happy and ruthless as their apartheid predecessors.


However, the inquiry's four-month timetable means its final findings will come after an internal ANC leadership election in mid-December.

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Issue 36


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