Marikana inquiry to continue without victims' families

The Marikana inquiry will continue today, but families of the victims will no longer attend.

Families of the 34 mineworkers killed at Lonmin mine attend the Marikana inquiry at the civic centre in Rustenburg, on 22 October 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

RUSTENBURG - The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shootings will continue in Rustenburg on Monday, but without many of the victims' relatives.

On Saturday, the Department of Justice decided to withdraw funding to transport and house the families of the 34 Lonmin miners killed in a clash with police during an illegal strike on 16 August.

The department said there was no legal basis for it to provide financial assistance for the families to attend the hearings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

It made sure relatives were there for the first session, and will only offer support if they are called as witnesses.

Some of the victims' families live as far as the Eastern Cape and lost their loved ones and bread winners in the violent five-week dispute over wages.

The Council for Advancement of the South African Constitution has called for the department to reverse its decision or for Commissioner Ian Farlam to postpone proceedings.

It is unclear how Farlam, a retired judge, will proceed today, when the inquiry into events surrounding the bloodbath resumes.