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Pan Macmillan

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Sipho Hlongwane: Things Have Gone Horribly Wrong with the Marikana Commission of Inquiry

Get Me StartedSipho Hlongwane has written about the Marikana commission of inquiry for Business Day, saying that “things have gone horribly wrong”. He wrote about visiting striking mine workers in his Youngster series book, Get Me Started.

Hlongwane writes that the commission got off to a promising start with President Jacob Zuma’s backing, but that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development won’t provide funding for the surviving miners’ legal costs. “The refusal to fund the miners — for a commission called by the head of the state — is nothing but a giant middle finger in their faces”, writes Hlongwane.

When the Marikana commission of inquiry was announced, we were elated. It seemed President Jacob Zuma had made a genuine effort to get to the bottom of the events leading up to August 16 2012, and the deaths of 44 people.

Headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam, the commission was empowered to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the events at Marikana. Furthermore, the police, Lonmin, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the Department of Mineral Resources were all explicitly named for probing.

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