Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘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.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Deshnee Subramany
Deshnee Subramany is our loudest employee. After slogging through various positions in marketing, advertising, radio – and a cow suit – Deshnee finally found her way to the M&G as a content producer in 2010, and was then forced to grow up by filling the position of day editor of the website. Sometimes she puts on her radio voice and guest-hosts the M&G Newsroom.If she was a superhero she would be called the Feeding Frenzy. Her passion is South African politics and revolutions. This comrade loves setting her world alight by discovering new ideas and people, and isnt afraid to laugh the loudest.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

The convenient myth of an Africa spared from Covid-19

There are few, if any, studies to support Pfizer chief executive’s assertion that the global south would be more vaccine-hesitant than the north

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors

How Alpha Condé overthrew Alpha Condé

Since the coup d’état, Guinea’s head of state has been in the custody of the military officers. But it was the president who was the primary architect of his own downfall
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×