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Zuma announces terms of Lonmin inquiry

Retired SCA Judge Ian Farlem will lead the Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana tragedy.

President Jacob Zuma addresses workers in Marikana, on 22 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA – Retired Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge Ian Farlem will lead the Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana tragedy, President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday.

The panel is set to investigate the National Union of Mineworkers (Num), Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) as well as police.

Lonmin and the Department of Mineral Resources will also be probed.

The commission was announced on Friday, a day after 34 striking workers lost their lives when police opened fire on demonstrators.

According to Zuma, the inquiry will have powers to subpoena people, as well as conduct search and seizure operations.

The team will have four months to complete its work and another month to present its findings.

Earlier, former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema addressed Lonmin mourners during a memorial service in Marikana.

Some 2,000 people gathered for the service near the scene of last Thursday’s bloody shooting.

Several politicians including Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi attended the service.

Community members cheered when Malema said workers were part of a mining revolution and did nothing wrong. 

The controversial politician said government does not care about the miners and Zuma cannot act against Lonmin because he benefits from them.

He said they should not stop fighting for the R12,500 salary demand.

Malema also called on police to release 259 people arrested during the bloodbath, saying they were only fighting for their rights.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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