Marikana inquiry continues

Retired judge Ian Farlam
Retired judge Ian Farlam

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana last year, is expected to continue on Tuesday.

This follows the Constitutional Court ruling regarding funding for the legal teams representing the miners.

Thirty four people — almost all striking mineworkers — were killed on August 16 when police opened fire on them. Ten people, including two police officers, were killed in the preceding week.

On June 21 Dali Mpofu, for the miners, told the commission that due to financial constraints, it could be his last day representing the miners.

He brought an urgent court application in the High Court in Pretoria several weeks ago seeking funding, but this was dismissed.

Mpofu then took the State to the Constitutional Court, asking that it pay for his legal team.

The application was dismissed on Monday.

North West deputy police commissioner General William Mpembe on Monday told the Commission how his colleague was killed by striking miners.

“I couldn’t count how many [attackers] there were… There were plus minus five of them who attacked Monene,” testified Mpembe.

“They had pangas and knobkerries.”

Mpembe was being cross-examined by Takalani Masevhe, for the family of slain Warrant Officer Tsietsi Monene.

A second officer, Sello Lepaku, was also killed in the attack. – Sapa