Marikana inquiry to proceed

The inquiry will proceed despite defence lawyers withdrawing due to a lack of funds.

Retired Judge Ian Farlam and commissioners at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shooting on 3 October 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Marikana Commission of Inquiry will resume today without the participation of defense lawyers representing the miners and families of those who were killed.

The team of lawyers provisionally withdrew from the inquiry probing the deaths on Monday.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who leads the legal team, announced their decision pending the outcome of an application for state funding in the North Gauteng High Court.

Mpofu told the commission the miners had instructed them to withdraw and will give further instructions to the legal team once the court makes its ruling.

He has been complaining about legal costs for several months now and successfully fought for the venue to be moved from Rustenburg to Centurion to lower travel expenses.

Muzi Msimang, who also represents the miners, said they would ideally have liked to continue with proceedings but could not do so without their clients' approval.

Mpofu filed the application for state funding to the court on Thursday.

He said he didn't want to interfere with the work of the inquiry but could not continue representing the miners without legal fees.

Commission spokesman, Tshepo Mahlangu said, "We are happy to resume. We understand the eagerness of the public to get the commission to complete its work and we are doing everything in our power to ensure we speed up the process."

The commission is probing the death of 34 miners on the Marikana koppie near the Lonmin mine in August last year.