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Johannesburg - The Johannesburg High Court has ruled that the miners who survived the Marikana shooting last year and the families of those who died must receive legal funding from the State for the Farlam Inquiry, the SABC reported on Monday.
The court granted an application made by Dali Mpofu, for the wounded miners, the broadcaster reported.
The miners and family members have not been represented at the commission most recently because of a lack of funding.
But lawyers for the miners are expected to return to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, the commission heard on Monday.
"We have been informed reliably by one of our colleagues... that the application for funding has succeeded. I wish to place that on record," said George Bizos SC, for the Legal Resources Centre and the Bench Marks Foundation.
Bizos said he hoped the court victory would minimise the need for postponements, which had been a frequent feature at the commission.
Mpofu temporarily withdrew from the inquiry because of a lack of funding, pending a review application to set aside a decision by the minister of justice and Legal Aid Board to refuse the miners state funding.
Mpofu said the miners had been denied the right to a fair public hearing and the decision was therefore unconstitutional.
He said that without the miners' input, the commission's only function would be to "whitewash the police".
In July, the high court dismissed an urgent application by the miners for interim funding so they could be represented at the inquiry pending the outcome of their review application.
On August 19, the Constitutional Court refused Mpofu’s team leave to appeal this ruling because the main issue had not yet been decided.According to the broadcaster, the State had argued that it would be unconstitutional and unlawful to provide assistance to every private person.
The inquiry is investigating the circumstances of the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin Platinum last year.
Thirty-four mineworkers were shot dead by the police on August 16, while 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, died in the preceding week. - Sapa