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Assisting poor and marginalised groups to realise an adequate standard of living
Developing housing rights and basic services jurisprudence.
Ensuring pro-poor legal and policy frameworks and developing socio-economic rights jurisprudence
Ensuring pro-poor legal and policy frameworks and developing socio-economic rights jurisprudence

Marikana

Marikana Commission of Inquiry

SERI represents the families of 36 striking miners, who were killed by the police on 13 and 16 August 2012, before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Read more about the 36 miners and their families here. SERI also represents the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at the Marikana Commission.

The Commission was appointed by the President of the Republic of South Africa in terms of section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution, and is chaired by Judge Ian Gordon Farlam. The Commission's mandate is "to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana, in the North West Province, which took place between 11 and 16 August 2012 and which led to the deaths of approximately 44 people, more than 70 persons being injured and approximately 250 people being arrested." Hearings were initially held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre and at the Marikana Community Hall, commencing 1 October 2012. From June 2013, the Commission moved to the City of Tshwane Municipal Offices in Centurion. Written transcripts of the Marikana Commission hearings since 1 October 2012 are available here. A list of all the parties to the Commission and their legal representatives is available here.

Between 16 July and 14 October 2013 the families of the deceased and AMCU provisionally pulled out of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry’s proceedings, following a decision by the legal team of the arrested and injured miners to withdraw pending a High Court ruling on an application for the state to fund the legal team. The Magidiwana case is ongoing, read more about it here.

Heads of argument and written submissions filed in the Marikana Commission of Inquiry

In September 2014 the Commission heard final evidence and adjourned to allow time for the legal teams to prepare for final arguments. In October 2014 the legal teams filed their heads of argument/written submissions. In November replying submissions and heads of argument were filed. See below:

  • Evidence Leaders: Heads of argument (27 October 2014) here.
  • Families of 36 of the Deceased Mineworkers: Heads of argument (29 October 2014) here. Replying heads of argument (3 November 2014) here.
  • 270 Injured and Arrested Persons: Heads of argument (27 October 2014) here.
  • Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU): Heads of argument (28 October 2014) here.
  • South African Police Service (SAPS): Heads of argument (27 October 2014) here. Replying submissions (3 November 2014) here.
  • Lonmin Plc: Heads of argument (27 October 2014) here. Replying submissions (3 November 2014) here.
  • South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC): Written submissions (27 October 2014) here (Phase 1) and here (Phase 2). Replying submissions (3 November 2014) here.
  • Bench Marks Foundation and Ledingoane Family: Heads of argument (29 October 2014) here.
  • David Bruce: Submissions (27 October 2014) here.
  • Monene Family: Heads of argument (27 October 2014) here.
  • Lepaaku and Baloyi Families: Written submissions (27 October 2014) here.
  • National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Mrs Fundi: Heads of argument (27 October 2014) here. Replying submissions (3 November 2014) here.
  • Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and Minister S Shabangu: Replying submissions (3 November 2014) here.
  • Former Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa: Written submissions (26 October 2014) here.
  • Cyril Ramaphosa: Replying submissions (4 November 2014) here.

All heads of argument documentation and information relating to Phase 2 of the Commission is available on its website here. On 14 November the Commission adjourned for the final time. Its report is expected in March 2015.

Official documentation on the Marikana Commission of Inquiry

  • Government Gazette No 37611: Amendments to the Terms of Reference for the Marikana Commission (5 May 2014) here.
  • Government Gazette No 35875: Amendment to Regulations for the Marikana Commission of Inquiry (14 November 2012) here.
  • Media statement: Marikana Commission postpone hearings to further examine SAPS material (19 September 2013) here.
  • Goverment Gazette No 35730: Procedural Regulations for the Marikana Commission of Inquiry (28 September 2012) here.
  • Marikana Commission of Inquiry: Opening Statement on behalf of the families of 21 of the striking miners killed on 16 August 2012 (22 October 2012) here.
  • Media statement issued by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry (21 September 2012) here.
  • Announcement by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development regarding the commencement and operations of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry ( 21 September 2012) here.
  • Government Gazette No 35680: Establishment and Terms of Reference of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry (12 September 2012) here.

SERI op-eds on Marikana Commission

SERI press statements on its involvement in the Marikana Commission:

Damages claim against SAPS on behalf of the families of the deceased miners

In February 2013, the dependents of 36 of the miners killed by police at Marikana in August 2012 gave notice of their intention to sue the Minister of Police and the National Police Commissioner for damages. The families of the deceased will claim for loss of support and general damages. Notices were served on the SAPS in terms of section 3 of the Institution of Legal Proceedings against Certain Organs of State Act 40 of 2002. That Act requires anyone claiming damages from the state to notify the state of their intention to do so within 6 months of the damage taking place. If payment is not made within 30 days of receipt of the notices, the claimants will institute actions to recover the damages owed to them by the Minister of Police and the National Police Commissioner.

Most of the strikers killed at Marikana were the sole breadwinners in their households. Their family members have suffered irreparable loss of support following their deaths at the hands of police officers. Many of family members suffered severe emotional shock when they heard of the killing of their relatives, and now suffer from depression. Some family members suffered miscarriages while others died upon hearing of the killing of their relatives.

  • Read the SERI press release (28 February 2013) here.
 
Marikana Support Campaign
 
SERI also supports the work of the Marikana Support Campaign and was part of a civil society statement published on 3 September 2012, which was endorsed by a number of legal and human rights NGOs. Press releases from the Marikana Support Campaign:

See here for media articles and press releases on the Marikana massacre.