Miners' lawyers pull out of Marikana commission

Advocate Dali Mpofu. (Skyler Reid, M&G)

Advocate Dali Mpofu. (Skyler Reid, M&G)

Advocate Dali Mpofu announced on Monday the decision to withdraw, pending a North Gauteng High Court ruling on his application for the state to fund the legal team. 

"Our instructions [from the mineworkers] are to await the judgment and at that point to receive further instructions. In the meantime, we will not be participating for the victims," he said.

"If we are back later on in the week, we will have the extra burden of catching up with what would have happened [at the commission]. We have been consulting with a small delegation of the victims now.
We are still going to consult with the larger groups."

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

He then brought the urgent court application seeking funding for representing the mineworkers.

Mpofu wants President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to approve payment for the mineworkers' legal team. 

The commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 mineworkers in strike-related violence in Marikana, North West, in August.

On Monday, Mpofu promised the commission's chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, that he would update the commission about his team's decision, based on the court outcome.

"Irrespective of the outcome, as professionals, we have a duty to come here and brief the commission. We are not going to just disappear," he said.

Contrary to media reports, the high court ruling could be made "anytime from now".

Mpofu's recovery from stab wounds
"In the media, it's being said the judge will give his decision on Thursday. The judge did not say that. The judge simply said he would give his judgment this week.

"In reality, the judgment could be in the next two hours, tomorrow, or anytime this week," he said.

As Mpofu and his team left the Tshwane council chambers, where the commission was holding its public hearings, Farlam enquired about Mpofu's recovery from stab wounds he sustained a while ago. "I will take further instructions from my clients," said Mpofu jokingly.

The former SABC chief executive was stabbed and robbed while walking on an East London beach in April. – Sapa

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