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Johannesburg - The dismissal of an application for the State to fund the legal costs of miners wounded and arrested in the Marikana shootings last year is an insult to workers, the Marikana Support Campaign said on Tuesday.
“This was a lost opportunity for the Constitutional Court to level the playing field and affirm the new human rights culture that society is committed to,” spokesman Trevor Ngwane said in a statement.
“It is also an insult to the workers who died, and all other victims of police brutality.”
Ngwane was responding to a ruling on Monday by the Constitutional Court in which an application to compel the State to fund the miners' legal costs was dismissed.
This came after the High Court in Pretoria also rejected their application several weeks ago.
The legal costs relate to representation at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin Platinum's mining operations in Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West.
Thirty-four striking mineworkers were killed on August 16, 2012, when police fired on them while trying to disperse and disarm them. Ten people, including two police officers and security guards, were killed in the preceding week.
“The only option left is to boycott the commission and to take collective protest action to demand that the government pay the legal fees of the miners’ representatives,” Ngwane said.