28 August 2013

South Africa: Citizens4Marikana - Crowdfunding for Miners' Legal Fees

Photo: GovernmentZA
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe addresses the Mining Lekgotla at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.


The representation at the Farlam Commission of more than 200 miners who were arrested and charged with the murder of their colleagues after the Marikana massacre still hangs in the balance.

Thus far, the courts have dismissed the idea that the government should foot the bill for their legal fees. Platinum miner Lonmin says they won't do it either. Now a group called Citizens4Marikana, frustrated by the lack of support for the Marikana victims, is setting up a trust for the public to make contributions.

As is so often the case these days, the idea for Citizens4Marikana grew out of interactions on social media. In August 2013, a year after the Marikana massacre, funding for the legal representation of Marikana victims at the Farlam Commission appointed by the government to investigate the killings appeared to be in jeopardy.

High-profile lawyer Dali Mpofu, representing 270 of Marikana's striking miners, had lost two court attempts to compel the state to pay his legal fees. The Marikana miners could not afford to pay their lawyers.

Spoken-word artist Ntsiki Mazwai posted a tweet saying, "We can't let Dali Mpofu do this alone". Discussions began among a group of concerned South Africans,...

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