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NPA looks to Farlam Commission for answers

The inquiry will determine whether the state must reinstitute charges against 279 miners.

FILE: Miners singing and dancing at the koppie for the Marikana two year commemoration rally. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the outcome of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry will determine whether the state must reinstitute charges against 279 miners prosecuted for the unrest in Marikana two years ago.

In 2012, 10 people died in the days leading to the shooting in which 34 miners were killed by police at Lonmin's North West mine.

A mineworker only known as Mr X has testified at the inquiry in defence of police, claiming miners planned to attack officers.

Police claim officers acted in self defence.

The NPA withdrew charges in the Garankuwa Magistrates Court against the miners on Wednesday.

They were charged with public violence, illegal gathering, possession of dangerous weapons and intimidation.

The NPA says it will wait for the inquiry to conclude its investigation into the tragedy before considering reinstating charges against the miners.

The NPA's Nathi Mncube says, "When the commission was first announced it was given a certain timeline. That timeline has come and gone. We were hoping that by that time we would have started the report. It's still continuing. We can't have these people attending court whilst we are waiting for the outcome of the commission."

The miner's legal team has welcomed the state's move to withdraw all criminal charges.

Defence lawyer Andries Nkome believes the state withdrew the charges because it has a weak case.

Video: Remembering the fallen.