Marikana commission appointed

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President Jacob Zuma has announced the commissioners and terms of reference of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate “matters of public, national and international concern” arising out of recent events at Marikana which led to the deaths of approximately 44 people, the injury of more than 70 and the arrest of more than 250 people.

The commission, headed by a retired judge, will probe the conduct of the police, mining house Lonmin, unions and other parties. “The chairperson of the Commission shall be Judge Ian Farlam, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal,” Zuma told a media conference. “He has served as a Judge in the Orange Free State Provincial Division, the Cape Provincial Division and the Supreme Court of Appeal.”

The other members of the commission are:
• Adv Bantubonke Tokota SC, who has acted as a Judge in the Eastern Cape Labour Court and Transvaal Provincial Division.
• Adv Pingla Hemraj SC. She has acted as a Judge in the High Courts of Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown.

With regards to terms of reference, Zuma said the commission will probe the conduct of the South African Police Service, and will look at the following:
• the nature, extent and application of any standing orders, policy considerations, legislation or other instructions in dealing with the situation which gave rise to this incidents;
• the facts and circumstances which gave rise to the use of force and whether this was reasonable and justifiable in the particular circumstances;
? to examine the role played by SAPS through its respective units, individually and collectively in dealing with the incidents; and
? whether by act or omission, it directly or indirectly caused loss of life or harm to persons or property.

In the case of Lonmin, it will probe:
• whether it exercised its best endeavours to resolve any disputes which may have arisen between Lonmin and its labour force on the one hand and generally among its labour force on the other;
• whether it responded appropriately to the threat and outbreak of violence which occurred at its premises;
• whether the company, by act or omission, created an environment which was conducive to the creation of tension, labour unrest, disunity among its employees or other harmful conduct; and
• whether it employed sufficient safeguards and measures to ensure the safety of its employees and property and the prevention of the outbreak of violence between any parties;
“The commission will also examine Lonmin policies generally, including the procedure, practices and conduct relating to its employees and organised labour. It will also investigate whether by act or omission, the company directly or indirectly caused loss of life or damage to persons or property,” Zuma said.

Thirdly, the commission will probe the conduct of the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, (AMCU), their members and officials. The Commission will in ¬particular probe:
• whether the AMCU had exercised its best endeavours to resolve any disputes which may have arisen between itself and Lonmin or NUM or any other parties;
• the extent to which it exercised effective control over its membership and those persons allied to it, in ensuring that their conduct was lawful and did not endanger the lives and property of other persons; and
• whether by act or omission it directly or indirectly caused loss of life or damage to persons or property.

Fourthly, the Commission will look into the conduct of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), its members and officials. It will in particular look into the following:
• whether the NUM had exercised its best endeavours to resolve any disputes which may have arisen between itself and Lonmin or AMCU or any other parties;
• the extent to which it exercised effective control over its membership and those persons allied to it in ensuring that their conduct was lawful and did not endanger the lives and property of other persons; and
• whether by act or omission it directly or indirectly caused loss of life or damage to persons or property.
“Fifthly, the Commission will look into the role played by the Department of Mineral Resources or any other government department or agency in relation to the incidents and whether this was appropriate in the circumstances, and consistent with their duties and obligations according to law,” Zuma said.
“The Commission will also look into the conduct of individuals and loose groupings in fomenting and/or promoting a situation of conflict and confrontation which may have given rise to the tragic incidents, whether directly or indirectly.”



Zuma said the commission had four months to complete its work and a fifth to draft its final report. They will also give him monthly interim reports and recommendations. “The commission shall where appropriate, refer any matter for prosecution, further investigation or the convening of a separate inquiry to the appropriate law enforcement agency, government department or regulator, regarding the conduct of any person or persons. The commission will have the necessary powers, including the power to enter and search premises, secure the attendance of witnesses and compel the production of documents.”