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Reinstate clause: Marikana campaign

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iol news pic Ian Farlam

INLSA

Honourable Judge Ian Gordon Farlam during the public hearing of the Marikana Commission of Enquiry to investigate the Marikana tragedy. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma should reinstate a deleted clause directing the Farlam Commission of Inquiry to probe the role played by government departments in the Marikana shooting, a support group said on Wednesday.

“We simply request that it be reinstated to the terms of reference. We are also asking why it was deleted in the first place,” Trevor Ngwane from the Marikana Support Campaign told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said the campaign wanted the inquiry to be extended for at least six more months as opposed to the 34 days.

On May 5, changes to the commission's terms of reference were published in the Government Gazette.

The changes extended the commission's work until July 31, with its report to be handed in six weeks later, and deleted a clause relating to the scope of the inquiry.

Ngwane said they wanted a response from the commission and Zuma by Monday.

“If our demands fall on deaf ears, we will mobilise public opinion into protest activities next week to ensure the president's proclamation on the commission is amended.”

He said they would demand a guarantee that all of those in government and Lonmin implicated in the killing of miners appeared before the commission.

“We commit ourselves to fighting to ensure that all the evidence is made public and the truths emerges regardless of how many months or years it takes.”

Commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, reportedly dismissed concerns about the removal of the clause.

“The removal of paragraph 1.5 of the terms of reference does not in any way affect phase one of the commission's inquiry,” he has been quoted as saying.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, during strike-related unrest in August 2012.

On August 16, police shot dead 34 people, mostly protesting miners. At least 78 miners were wounded when police fired on a group gathered at a hill near the mine while trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

The campaign also complained that other people were cross-examined for days while others were questioned for few minutes.

“Mzoxolo Magidiwa who was shot nine times by the police, was cross-examined for 10 days.”

Ngwane said under the amended terms of reference, the main perpetrators of the killings were questioned for 30 to 45 minutes.

The SA Human Rights Commission said on Thursday that oral evidence before the commission should not be rushed.

It also expressed concern over the removal of paragraph 1.5.

Sapa


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