Final submissions at the end of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry – 5-15 November

1The long running Farlam Commission is drawing to an end and the dates for the final evidence have been set. From the 4th to 15th, evidence leaders and others will present their final documents and arguments. The Commission, appointed by President Jacob Zuma, has run since the 23rd of August 2012 has been mandated to investigate “matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana.” To date, the Commission has sat for 293 days where evidence from 56 witnesses has been presented including SAPS, the injured and arrested Lonmin miners, expert witnesses and members from Lonmin, AMCU and NUM. The final report is to be submitted to the President in March 2015.

As the Commission draws to a close we spoke to Rehad Desai who shares his hope for a positive outcome:

“we can expect from the findings and recommendation of The Commission are  the demilitarisation of the police, the need for detailed public order policing policy  and perhaps most importantly, a very clear indictment of what happened immediately after the shootings we saw on our screens. It is  highly conceivable that The Commission find,  given the falsification, deception and concealment of evidence by SAPS, that the police commanders responsible for the 17 killings at scene two, that the policemen in question were most likely involved in unlawful killings.”

Many however expect that there will be some negative outcomes from The Commission. Desai suggests that:

“despite the weight of substantive evidence that points to a premeditated plan to break the strike, which resulted in the use of deadly force on the 16th August, it is expected that The Farlam Commission will  find that there  is no hard evidence to show that the police  had clear intentions to murder strikers. The judgement, much like in the Pretorius case, will be fudged, as there are number of variables at play. Most conspicuously absent  in the findings will be the responsibility of Government Ministers and Lonmin Executives despite substantive evidence that points to collusion at the highest level.  “

For an excellent discussion of the outcomes of The Commission, Greg Nicolson provides a detailed account of what is likely to come from The Commission in his article for the “Daily Maverick “which can be accessed here.  For more updates on the final submission please visit our Facebook page (Miners Shot Down) and website http://www.minersshotdown.co.za.

As a show of solidarity, we invite all interested parties to attend The Commission on the 12 of November, where the injured and arrested miners will be making their final presentations.

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