Victims' families miss Marikana hearing

Families of the victims of Marikana violence were not present at judicial hearings today.

Retired Judge Ian Farlam listens as a crime scene investigator talks about evidence found at the scene of the Marikana shooting on 1 October 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - There were calls on Wednesday morning to postpone the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, because families of the victims were not present at the hearings.

Hearings were expected to get underway in an attempt to determine the roles played by Lonmin management, unions and the police during the 5-week long illegal strike.

Footage from the crime scenes and evidence of particular attacks was expected to be viewed this morning, but Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza said his clients were not present for the crucial part of the investigation.

Ntsebeza represents 20 families of the 34 victims gunned down during a clash with police on 16 August.

He said most of the families live in the Eastern Cape and Lesotho, and require transport, accommodation and food for the duration of the inquiry.

Commission chair Ian Farlam has yet to make a ruling.

On Monday, advocates representing the families called for a postponement of proceedings, saying they should be present for the inspections at the crime scenes as well.

But Farlam said proceedings could not be delayed, but that every effort was being made to ensure all those affected by the tragedy at Marikana attended Wednesday's proceedings.

The inquiry has been set down for four months.