The Farlam Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam, looked into the deaths of 34 miners who were shot by police at Lonmins Marikana mine near Rustenburg on August 16, 2012 during a protracted strike. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Miners who were injured and arrested during the 2012 Marikana massacre have filed an urgent application in the high court in Pretoria to have President Jacob Zuma immediately release the findings of the Farlam Commission.

Attorney Andries Nkome, representing about 300 miners and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, says it is illegal and unconstitutional for Zuma to take so long to review the report which was handed to the Presidency on March 31.

“The applicants seek an order compelling the first respondent to release the Marikana report forthwith and within 24 hours of the granting of the court order to the immediate victims and/or to the South African (and international) public,” the court papers state.

“The president must respond by the third (of June) with reasons why he’s opposing, if he’s opposing the application,” Nkome said.

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam, investigated the deaths of 34 miners who were shot by police at Lonmin’s Marikana mine near Rustenburg on August 16, 2012 during a strike. In the preceding week, 10 people – among them miners, security guards and police officers – were killed.

The court papers insist that should Zuma not release the report then the commission should do so.

The application also asks for the court to find that the president treated the applicants with contempt by de-scribing them as “mischievous for exercising their rights”, for “ignoring their direct communications regarding the Marikana report and not according them respect, dignity or courtesy of a direct response”.

The court papers referred to concerns that North West police commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo had retired at the end of last month and that national commissioner General Riah Phiyega was allegedly offered an alternative posting by Zuma.

Concern was also expressed that the two commissioners could be exonerated for any possible wrongdoing for their involvement in the tragedy.

A founding affidavit by miner Mzoxolo Magidiwana states that the miners had lost confidence in Zuma “ever acting in our interests or even considering us as human beings”.

He said that miners had been filled with anxiety and hopelessness at not being informed about the outcome of the inquiry.

Last month, Nkome sent a letter to Zuma insisting that the report be released before the end of last month.

He argued that his clients would not have time to prepare for civil claims that expire on August 16 due to a three-year period within which such claims have to be instituted.

Last week, during his budget vote speech, Zuma said he would release the report only at the end of this month.

“I know and appreciate the anxiety of those who are af-fected. But it would be inappropriate for me to just release the report without applying my mind sufficiently. The report will be released before the end of next month,” he said.

Zuma’s spokesman Harold Maloka had not responded at the time of publication.

The application is due to be heard on Monday.

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The Star