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Ghost funder might foot Mpofu's bill

The commission has been delayed several times due to a lack of funding for legal teams.

Retired Judge Ian Farlam listens during the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shooting. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Marikana Commission of Inquiry will know by Monday whether the injured and arrested miners will have funds to continue.

An anonymous funder will give clarity on whether he/she will pay advocate Dali Mpofu's legal bills in order to represent the miners at the hearings.

The inquiry has been postponed several times this year and has been criticised for its slow progress a year after the deadly shootings.

Mpofu has signalled that he will take the matter to the Constitutional Court if he does not get the necessary funding.

With the potential anonymous funder, who might give some clarity next week, it is hoped the hearings will gain some momentum.

The commission head judge Ian Farlam has acknowledged the inquiry has not been speedy as expected.

At least 44 people were killed last August during violent clashes between miners and police officers in Marikana.

The miners were participating in an illegal demonstration over salaries.

However, police maintain they had no choice but to shoot as they feared for their safety as miners were armed.

The commission was set up by President Jacob Zuma to establish what really transpired during the clashes.

At the same time, several witnesses have been killed before they could testify at the commission.

MINE CRIME COMBATTING FORUM

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa are launching a mine crime combatting forum in Rustenburg to deal with sporadic murders in the area.

Another miner was shot dead in Marikana this week.

The killing comes as the Marikana community prepares to remember mineworkers who were gunned down during a clash with police a year ago.

The forum will focus on arresting and prosecuting those responsible for murders in the volatile area where so many lives have been lost in the past year.

Rustenburg Mayor Louis Diremelo said the one-year anniversary of the Marikana shooting must be used to promote peace.

"It's important for all of us to continue to ask for restraint, to use the 16 August, to recommit ourselves towards ensuring that there's peace in the mining sector."

Police have been criticised for not making any arrests in connection with the sporadic murders in the mining district.

In the latest murder, a female shop steward affiliated to the National union of Mineworkers was shot dead.