Rustenburg - The commission of inquiry into last year's shooting in Marikana has denied leaving victims' families in the lurch due to financial problems.

“There have been no family members who have been left to fend for themselves as reported by the media,” commission secretary Phuti Setati said on Monday.

Times Live earlier reported that the department of justice and constitutional development was no longer serving family members lunch as it had failed to pay the caterers.

Setati said the decision to serve sandwiches and soft drinks instead of a “full lunch” during the inquiry was taken during the December adjournment.

“Upon the families' return, they expressed their unhappiness over the new catering arrangement and it was then decided that a full meal will be provided after the first two weeks from the re-opening of the Commission in January.”

Family members apparently agreed to the arrangement.

The commission is probing the killing of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, last year.

Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of protesters gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16. - Sapa