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 Commission.
For further insights into the commission, and the families' experiences of it, visit a website SERI created together with the History Workshop here.
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.
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 2014 replying submissions and heads of argument were filed. 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.
In March 2015 the report was sent to President Jacob Zuma, and was released on 25 June 2015. Read the final report here. The families are disappointed by the findings and recommendations of the report.
Evidence placed before the commission by SERI regarding each of the deceased, as well evidence from the mineworkers who testified at the commission have largely been ignored by the commission. The report relies heavily on the police’s description of the events and misrepresentation of the workers as violent group of men. The families find no closure or justice in the Marikana report, and are not any closer to the truth concerning how their loved ones died.
Heads of argument and written submissions filed in the Marikana Commission of Inquiry
- 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.
Official documentation on the Marikana Commission of Inquiry
- Marikana Commission of Inquiry: full report (25 June 2015) here.
- 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.
Marikana Commission of Inquiry Report
The Marikana Commissions' final report was handed to President Zuma at the end of March 2015. Almost two months after receiving the report, the President had not released it. On the 27 May 2015, SERI and the LRC sent letters to both the President and the Marikana Commission requesting the release the report. Amid mounting pressure, the President announced he would release it before the end of June 2015, almost three months later.
On 8 June 2015, the families of the deceased mineworkers supported an application in the High Court to compel the President to release the report. The families argued that the President is constitutionally obliged to release the report and to afford the families adequate notice of the date upon which the report will be released. To do otherwise would be in breach of the President’s obligations to uphold the rule of law, and to respect and protect the families’ rights to dignity.
The application to for the release of the Marikana report was brought by the Injured and Arrested Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). Judge Neil Tuchten dismissed the application on 15 June 2015.
- Judgement in High Court application (15 June 2015) here.
- SERI Heads of argument (8 June 2015) here.
- Answering affidavit filed on behalf of the families (5 June 2015) here.
- Answering affidavit filed on behalf of the President (4 June 2015) here.
- Founding affidavit on behalf of Injured and Arrested and AMCU (1 June 2015) here.
- SERI and LRC press statement (27 May 2015) here.
- SERI and LRC letter to Judge Farlam (26 May 2015) here.
- SERI and LRC letter to the President (26 May 2015) here.
Claassen Board of Inquiry
SERI op-eds on Marikana Commission
- Judge Farlam’s Accidental Massacre, op-ed by Stuart Wilson, Daily Maverick (26 June 2015).
- After the Marikana Commission: What now?, op-ed by Stuart Wilson, Daily Maverick (27 November 2014).
- Marikana inquiry’s mistakes call for a rethink, op-ed by Jackie Dugard in Business Day (11 September 2013).
- Marikana ruling hardly ‘excellent’, Stuart Wilson, Mail and Guardian (23 August 2013).
- Commissioner, police ignoring AMCU evidence, Stuart Wilson, Sunday Independent (18 August 2013).
- Snail's pace hampers Marikana Commission, Jackie Dugard and Kate Tissington, Sunday Times (30 June 2013).
SERI press statements on its involvement in the Marikana Commission:
- Families of Marikana mineworkers file civil claims against Government, 11 August 2015. SERI, LRC and Wits Law Clinic announcing the civil claims.
- Families request Marikana Report be released by Friday, 27 May 2015. SERI and LRC statement on the release of the Marikana Commission report.
- Families to make closing arguments before the Marikana Commission, 10 November 2014. Press statement on the families closing arguments at the Commission.
- Marikana legal funding: correcting inaccurate reports, 20 July 2014. SERI press release correcting an inaccurate and misleading report in the Sunday Independent.
- Marikana Commission Terms of Reference amended, 10 May 2014. Press statement on amendments to the Commission's Terms of Reference.
- SERI Welcomes Legal Aid SA Decision, 15 October 2013. Press release on Legal Aid SA's decision to abide by judgment and fund the legal representation of the miners.
- Legal Aid SA Directed to Fund Representation for Victims at Marikana Commission, 14 October 2013. SERI press release on the High Court judgment in the Marikana funding case.
- Statement on Behalf of the Deceased Miners' Families Represented Before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, 15 March 2013. SERI press release on behalf of the families, following statements made by National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega.
- Families of Marikana deceased demand payment from SAPS, 28 February 2013. The families of those killed during the Marikana massacre are demanding payment from the SAPS for loss of support and general damages incurred as a result.
- Department of Justice is Misleading the Public about Marikana Families, 28 October 2012. SERI's press release on explanation fowarded by the Department of Justice as to why funding for the families of the deceased to attend the Commission was revoked.
- Police Intimidation of Witnesses at Marikana Commission of Inquiry, 24 October 2012. SERI's press relesae on the arrest by the police of four of its witnesses due to give statements to the Commission.
SERI to seek international scrutiny of police action by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, 10 October 2012. SERI's press release on its briefing Professor John Dugard SC to consider whether police action in Marikana on 16 August 2012 met international legal standards.
SERI to represent AMCU at the Marikana Commission, 14 September 2012. SERI's media statement announcing 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.
Marikana Support Campaign
SERI supports the work of the Marikana Support Campaign. Some press releases issued by the Marikana Support Campaign since 2012:
- Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa who appears before the commission today is responsible for the Massacre at Marikana (11 August 2014).
- Police arrest Makause activists for wearing Marikana solidarity t-shirts (23 October 2012).
- Police continue to terrorise Marikana worker leaders and community members as the Farlam Commission meets (23 October 2012).
- Marikana Solidarity Campaign calls for immediate investigation into the death of Paulina Masuhlo, yet another victim of police brutality in Marikana (18 September 2012).
- Civil society statement regarding the killings at Marikana: A demand for justice and truth (3 September 2012).
See here for a selection of media articles and press releases on the Marikana massacre.
Commissioning the Present: Marikana and its Aftermath
From 7 to 9 May 2015 SERI and the History Workshop at the University of the Witwatersrand will be hosting a convening entitled “Commissioning the Present: Marikana and its Aftermath” at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Law.
Since 2012, the Marikana Commission of Inquiry has been the site of struggles over the narratives, meanings, and implications of the events at Marikana. SERI and the History Workshop have convened this meeting to allow participants in the Commission and scholars to come together to consider the development of these narratives and stories, and to place both the massacre and the Commission in context. The three days of this convening will provide spaces for discussion and disagreement, and for the development of new political and social narratives.
Panel discussions and presentations will take place around a number of topics, including: The Commission’s Contexts: Social, Economic, Political; The Politics of Platinum; Gender and Lived Experience; Practices of Policing; Popular Politics after Marikana; Political Economies; Land and Custom; Experiencing the Commission: Civil Society Lawyers and Families and Affected Communities; and The Farlam Commission 20 Years after the TRC.