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Pretoria - Miners wounded and arrested during the Marikana unrest were elated about being represented again at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, Dali Mpofu SC, said on Tuesday.
Mpofu, who represents the miners, said the ruling by the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday compelling Legal Aid SA to pay the legal costs of survivors of the Marikana shooting was a great reprieve.
“The clients are excited. As their lawyers, we are relieved. We have subsequently learnt now that Legal Aid has made an undertaking to provide the necessary legal funding. Indications are that we are back permanently,” he said.
“We need to sit down with them 1/8Legal Aid 3/8 to work out the mechanics of the judgment. The judge said they must take steps to provide funding forthwith and also they should pay the costs for our court application.”
The commission's public hearings in Centurion were adjourned until Monday.
Mpofu said during a break his team would iron out grey areas with the Legal Aid Board.
“We hope this is sufficient time to have that urgent meeting so that when we come back next Monday we will be able to inform the chairperson 1/8retired judge Ian Farlam 3/8 and the nation what the permanent position will be.”
Mpofu rubbished allegations that the funding of his team would diminish the Legal Aid purse, depriving other needy South Africans of legal representation in unrelated matters.
“That is just nature. There is no place where there are unlimited funds, where you pick funds as if they are from trees. Every time government builds a house for someone, someone else is not having the house.”
Mpofu said on Friday he was not in a position to disclose the amount he stood to receive from Legal Aid.
“... Not until we have that roundtable meeting. We need to obviously jointly agree on what the meaning of the judgment is,” he said.
“What is clear is the rate of the funding, which is what we went to court asking for Ä the Legal Aid rate.”