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Farlam Commission resumes its work

South Africa

Johannesburg - The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine will resume in Rustenburg on Monday.

The judicial commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is holding public hearings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre. The other commissioners are senior advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.

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From left: advocate Pingla Hemraj, Marikana commission chairman Ian Farlam and advocate Bantubonke Tokota are seen during the first week of the inquiry at the Civic Centre in Rustenburg in the North West, Wednesday, 3 October 2012. The judicial commission of inquiry into the shooting at Lonmin platinum mine was postponed on Wednesday. Lawyers representing the different parties unanimously decided to postpone the matter to 9am on October 22. Thirty-four miners were killed and 78 wounded when police opened fire on them while trying to disperse protesters near the mine in Marikana on August 16. Picture: SAPA stringer

Thirty-four striking miners were shot dead on August 16 and 78 wounded when the police opened fire on them while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near Lonmin's platinum mine.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were hacked to death near the mine.

President Jacob Zuma announced the commission in August. It was given four months to complete its work.

At the last day of hearings on December 20, Advocate Lesego Mmusi, representing protesters who were arrested after the shooting, claimed that mineworkers who survived the initial shooting by police at Marikana on August 16 were “searched and then shot again”.

“Evidence will be led, that after the eight seconds (of) shooting, police approached the protesters who had been shot and were lying on the ground,” he said.

“They searched them one by one, checking if they are dead. Those who were not dead were shot again.”

Mmusi said he would call witnesses to substantiate the claims. - Sapa

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