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Yet more withdrawals at Marikana Inquiry

The Legal Resources Centre could provisionally withdraw from the inquiry in solidarity with the miners.

Protesters outside the Marikana Commission of Inquiry which has since seen a number of lawyers withdraw from proceedings. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos has told Eyewitness News the Legal Resources Centre is now also considering pulling out of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry in solidarity with injured and arrested miners.

The legal teams representing the surviving miners and the families of the deceased this week withdrew from proceedings, pending the outcome of an application for state funding.

Bizos says the centre is hopeful the withdrawal of legal teams from the commission will only be temporary.

"We just hope that the matters will be resolved so that the commission can continue doing its work."

But he admits that the centre has also received new instructions from its clients and its participation in the commission is being reviewed.

The commission will resume proceedings on Thursday and the centre is expected to tell retired judge Ian Farlam, who is presiding over the inquiry, whether it will continue with its participation.

Advocate Dali Mpofu and his legal team withdrew on Monday after he said he was running low on funding and could not continue representing the miners.

His withdrawal was followed by attorney Teboho Mosikili's team on Tuesday.

Mosikili said the family members believed the commission would be one-sided without Mpofu's team present.

"These people live to tell the tale on behalf of their deceased brothers, husbands and uncles. They say they can't subject themselves to hearing one-sided evidence from the police without it being challenged by the workers."

Mosikili said if Mpofu's application to the North Gauteng High Court failed, the families may decide not to continue.

"If the clients aren't getting funding and wish not to continue, we have no right to participate in the commission. That will be the end of our journey as well, I suppose."

He however added that if funding is granted, they will return to the proceedings.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is expected to reveal the outcome of Mpofu's application for funding later this week.

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