Tuesday 2 October 2012

Marikana Inquiry - Call for Government to Fund Families' Legal Representation

This letter to President Zuma was released to the media on 2 October 2012.

Dear Mr President

Earlier this month, you spoke warmly at the funeral of Sr Bernard Ncube of the role of the religious sector in Marikana. As you will know, in various ways we continue that involvement, according to the unfolding needs of the situation. One of these ways is through encouraging as far as we are able every assistance to be accorded to Judge Ian Farlam and the Commission of Inquiry he chairs. I am sure all agree that it is of vital importance that this Commission should be able to provide the fullest and fairest account possible of those tragic events and all that gave rise to them.

It is on this matter that I am writing to you. For, as far as I understand, the Government, in addition to financing the costs of the Commission itself, is also funding the legal representation of Evidence Leaders, and of those members of SAPS who will appear before it. However, it seems that similar legal support is not being equally extended to the miners themselves nor to the families of those who lost their lives – who, though they may not have been at the mine at the time of the tragedy, nonetheless lived with the reality of the financial circumstances of their dear ones, which is a material consideration in respect of the relationship between employees and employer, a key area within the terms of reference of the Inquiry.

The Commission must be seen to be acting justly, with a level playing field accorded to all concerned parties, and I am therefore deeply troubled at the message of apparent inequality this decision can be seen as conveying. I therefore strongly urge you to reconsider, and to make state funded legal representation available here also.

Please be assured that you remain always in my own prayers, and those of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, that God will bless you with his wisdom and grace to follow his best paths in all you do, so that you might be a blessing to this nation, and to all its people.

Yours in the service of Christ

+Thabo Cape Town

Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Inquiries: Ms Wendy Kelderman 021 763 1320 (office hours)