The dismissal of a court application for the state to fund legal representation for victims of the Marikana shooting is a “mockery of justice”, the United Democratic Movement has said.
“We take exception to the fact that these people were killed by the state forces,” UDM secretary-general Bongani Msomi said today in a statement, adding that the party respected the court’s decision.
“Furthermore, it seems that justice is being made a mockery of by murderers in police uniforms who are having their bills footed by the state.”
The high court in Pretoria yesterday dismissed an application for the state to fund legal representation for victims of the Marikana shootings.
Dali Mpofu, acting for the wounded and arrested Marikana miners at the hearings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, brought the urgent application for the state to pay their lawyers’ fees.
The commission is investigating the deaths of 34 striking Lonmin mine workers shot by police at Marikana in North West on August 16, and the deaths of 10 people in strike-related violence the previous week.
Judge Joseph Raulinga said: “I agree with the state that the application cannot succeed. The application is dismissed. I need to say that nothing prevents the parties from settling this matter outside the courts.”
Raulinga said the duty of determining how public resources were used lay in the hands of the executive. He could only grant such an order if there was proof of unlawfulness, fraud, or corruption.
Msomi said the state should protect its people.
“The UDM calls upon the state to grant remediation and a speedy justice for the affected miners and their families.”
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