‘No legal basis to fund Marikana commission attendance’

The justice department confirmed late on Saturday the families of the victims will no longer receive money to attend commission hearings, adding there was no legal requirement for them to provide the families with financial assistance to oversee the hearings as they were not witnesses in the case.

“In as much as we are sympathetic to the families and understand their desire to attend the proceedings, we cannot finance their attendance as that is not covered by any legislative framework that governs the work of the commission,” spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said a statement.

“Regulations applicable to the commission make provision for legal assistance to be afforded to any such witness whose evidence may be relevant to the terms of reference of the commission, and families will be entitled to same assistance if they participate as witnesses,” the statement said.

Mhaga said the families were given funds to attend the first session of the inquiry was “mainly based on humanitarian basis” so that they would understand the need for the inquiry.

“The department took a decision to afford financial assistance for family members to attend the first session of the inquiry, and this was with a view to afford them to be present when the commission commences with the inquiry, which was planned to be preceded by a statement of sympathy to the families Further attendance of the inquiry would be left to the choice of the families themselves … There is no legal basis on which the attendance of the family members or representatives can be sustained on state expense.”

Non-profit organisation the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution called for the department to reverse its decision, or postpone the commission of inquiry into the incident that left 44 people dead.

Mhaga said to the Mail & Guardian on Saturday: “It has never happened in the history of South Africa that the department has paid for family members to watch hearing proceedings. So why are we being vilified for doing this?”

The department also said some of families requested they be given the money that would be used to fly them from the Eastern Cape to Rustenburg rather be given to them for food to feed their families.

Advertisting

Hlophe complaint is an eerie echo

But the new complaint against the Western Cape judge president is also unprecedented

Mabuza contract grows by R10m

Eskom’s negotiators in a R100-million maintenance contract came back with a proposal to push up the costs

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.