Marikana lawyers lock horns over funding

Lawyers say they cannot proceed without the families present at the Marikana inquiry.

Dali Mpofu and Dumisa Ntsebeza chat during a break at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on 3 October 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

RUSTENBURG - The Marikana Commission of Inquiry resumed on Monday, with legal teams arguing that they could not proceed without the miners' families present.

On Saturday, the Justice Department decided to withdraw funding for transport and accommodation to the families of the 34 Lonmin miners killed during a clash with police.

The incident took place on August 16.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza said his clients wanted to attend the inquiry, despite claims being made by the department.

"Until I hear the cause, because they have told us they want to be here, it would be improper for the commission to proceed."

State law adviser Jabulile Skhosana said the department sent a team to the Eastern Cape, where the majority of families live, to find out what they wanted.

He said the families said they wanted the figure for their financial compensation to be configured.

The commission earlier heard from the legal teams about the withdrawal of funds to the families of the victims.

The Justice Department told attendees at the Rustenburg Civic Centre there was no legal basis to continue funding them.

But now, they are callings for the inquiry to be postponed until an agreement is reached.

The commission was appointed to determine the roles of Lonmin stakeholders and unions in events which led to the bloodbath.