Ian Farlam. File picture: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - The term of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into 44 deaths in Marikana, North West, in 2012 has been extended to July 31, the presidency said on Friday.

It had become evident that the commission would not be able to complete its investigation by April 30, spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

The commission, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is probing deaths at Lonmin's platinum mining operations in Marikana.

On August 16, 2012, 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.

In October last year, President Jacob Zuma granted the inquiry a third extension, to April 30.