Marikana vic­tims seek dam­ages

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

JOHANNESBURG — Vic­tims’ fam­i­lies and sur­vivors of a 2012 po­lice shoot­ing that left 34 min­ers dead will seek com­pen­sa­tion from the South African gov­ern­ment af­ter the of­fi­cial in­quiry was re­leased, their lawyer said Mon­day.

Dali Mpofu said he would lodge the claim in the courts be­fore the third an­niver­sary of the Marikana shoot­ings, which were the worst vi­o­lence since the end of apartheid 20 years ago.

“Be­fore the 16th of Au­gust the civil claim against the state must be lodged and we are go­ing to lodge it,” Mr Mpofu, who is rep­re­sent­ing 300 peo­ple in­clud­ing those ar­rested, told AFP.

The fam­i­lies of the dead, the in­jured and those ar­rested have ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at the in- quiry’s find­ings, which cleared top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials of any blame in the killings.

The in­quiry was es­tab­lished by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to in­ves­ti­gate the events at Lon­min’s Marikana mine which claimed 44 lives in­clud­ing 10 killed be­fore the po­lice shoot­ings.

The re­port laid the blame on the po­lice, but ex­on­er­ated the coun­try’s Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and the then min­is­ters of po­lice and mines.

Mr Mpofu said the le­gal ac­tion could in­clude ap­proach­ing The Hague-based In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court.

“(My clients) gave me the man­date yesterday and asked to see all op­tions, in­clud­ing the ICC. Now we have to see and ad­vise them,” he said.

The re­port cleared Mr Ramaphosa, who was then a non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and share­holder at Lon­min but held no gov­ern­ment of­fice, say­ing the ac­cu­sa­tions against him were “ground­less”.

Lawyers for the sur­vivors of the shoot­ing had ac­cused him of trig­ger­ing the mas­sacre.

The in­quiry heard that Mr Ramaphosa con­tacted the min­is­ters of po­lice and min­ing ahead of the killings, push­ing for po­lice in­ter­ven­tion to end a strike ur­gently.

South Africa has re­cently clashed with the ICC, say­ing it may with­draw from the in­ter­na­tional court af­ter a dis­pute over the gov­ern­ment’s re­fusal to ar­rest Su­danese Pres­i­dent Omar al-bashir when he vis­ited Johannesburg. — AFP

A miner in this file pic­ture bran­dishes a ma­chete at a work­ers’ strike call­ing for in­creased wages, at a plat­inum mine in Marikana.

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