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Marikana Inquiry: Party withdrawal disturbing

Judge Ian Farlam is expected to make an important announcement when the inquiry resumes on Monday.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Justice Department says the withdrawal of parties from the Marikana Commission of Inquiry is a disturbing development, but only the chairperson can decide how to proceed once the inquiry resumes on Monday.

This week, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed an application launched by advocate Dali Mpofu to force government to pay the legal fees of miners injured or arrested last year.

The commission is investigating the Marikana shooting in which 34 miners were shot dead by the police.

The battle over state funding has led to several groups including lawyers representing the slain miners pulling out of the hearings.

The department's Mthunzi Mhaga says they hope these groups will reconsider.

"Unfortunately the chairperson of the commission will have to make a determination because the executive cannot interfere with how the proceedings unfold but would only be concerned about people who don't form part of it."

Retired judge Ian Farlam is expected to make an important announcement when the inquiry resumes.