No clarity on how much Marikana inquiry cost taxpayers

When the inquiry began it was estiimated the inquiry would cost around R75m but costs have escalated.

FILE:Crosses placed during 2012 for the 34 miners killed in the Marikana shooting. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - There's still no indication as to how much the Farlam Commission of Inquiry has cost taxpayers, although it's expected to run into the millions.

The inquiry probed the deaths of 34 miners who were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012 at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force when the protesting miners were gunned down.

Ten other people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

The inquiry into the violence and deaths at the North West platinum mine was expected to take four months but hearings came to an end of Friday after 300 days, and testimony from more than 50 witnesses.

When the inquiry commenced in October 2012, the Department of Justice expected to pay about R75 million.

But the costs have escalated and the commission has been extended several times.

The department is yet to put a price tag on the commission of inquiry.

In the meantime, retired judge Ian Farlam has until the end of March to submit his report with recommendations to the presidency.

The inquiry officially wrapped up its hearings and final arguments last week.