‘Truth about Marikana will be revealed’

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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

Pretoria - Precise details of how events unfolded before and during the August 2012 Marikana shootings will be revealed, retired judge Ian Farlam said on Tuesday.

Welcoming back the families of the deceased mineworkers, Farlam said his probe would divulge how their family members were killed.

The families returned to the public hearings in Pretoria after taking an extended festive season break.

“I understand why the families were not able to return as soon as we re-commenced our activities this year. There were questions of children going back to school and so forth,” said Farlam.

“We are pleased to have them back. I hope they will continue to see that we are endeavouring to the best of our ability to ascertain the true facts in relation to the matters covered by our terms of reference.”

Farlam urged the families, mainly comprising the miners' widows, to remain strong during the emotional deliberations of the circumstances around the Marikana shootings.

“We are endeavouring to leave no stone unturned to get to the truth. I hope you can see that. We hope that you have a comfortable stay while you are here. We understand that matters being traversed here are issues which cause you pain and distress.

“We have sympathy and empathy for you. We hope that in the end you succeed in obtaining closure and also it will be clear to you and everybody else what the true facts were,” he said.

Families of the mineworkers from Lesotho are yet to return to the commission.

The government is footing the bill for the deceased miners' family representatives' stay in Pretoria for the public hearings.

The three-member commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people at Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West, in August last year.

Police shot dead 34 people, almost all of them striking mineworkers, on August 16, 2012, while trying to disperse and disarm them.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission a short while later.

Sapa


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