President Zuma to sign Marikana regulations

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pretoria - Government has announced that President Jacob Zuma will today sign the regulations detailing the work of the Commission of Inquiry set up to probe the tragic events at Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe told reporters in Pretoria on Friday that for the purposes of ensuring greater access and understanding of the task of the commission, the terms of reference had been gazetted in English, seSotho and isiXhosa.

President Zuma announced the composition, headed by retired Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Ian Farlam to probe the underlying causes of what is probably considered to be South Africa's most tragic event post 1994.

Thirty-four people were killed in clashes with the police at the mining town of Marikana near Rustenburg. Prior to this, 10 other people - including two police officers - were killed in nearly a week of fighting between rival worker factions.

Radebe said in investigating the events leading up to the tragedy, the commission has been tasked with looking into the conduct of mining company Lonmin, the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

It will have powers to subpoena any witness and conduct search and seizures if necessary. Commissioners have been given four months to complete their work.

"The President has deemed it important that the Commission of Inquiry investigate these incidents which are of public, national and international interest and make appropriate findings and recommendations," Radebe said.

He said evidence leaders will be assisted by a team of investigators who possessed the skills necessary for the commission to carry out its work.

Authorities would be guided by the commission regarding persons who may be appointed as investigators.

"It is anticipated that researchers will commence with their investigative work in this coming week".

The commissioners have already started with their work and have already had a few meetings, said Radebe. The commission will sit in Rustenburg with security around its premises expected to be tightened.

According to the Justice Department, the commission will need between R44 million and R50 million to carry out its task - included in the figure are salaries and operations.

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