The South African government has disbursed over R330 million in claims related to the Marikana tragedy, according to Solicitor-General Fhedzisani Pandelani’s announcement during a media briefing on Thursday. Legal representatives, including the Wits Law Clinic and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), have channelled these claims payments as reported by the SA News.
The Marikana tragedy, which took place in 2011 in the North West town, involved the fatal shooting of 34 miners by police officials during a labour-related strike at Lonmin Mine. An additional 78 miners were injured, and 10 individuals, including law enforcement officials, died in clashes preceding the tragedy.
Pandelani emphasised the gravity of the Marikana incident, describing it as a “painful and significant” chapter in the nation’s history that continues to impact people emotionally. He acknowledged the sombre shadow cast by the tragic clash between striking miners and law enforcement, which resulted in multiple fatalities.
Government lawyers have been actively addressing the lawful demands stemming from the Marikana incident through the disbursement of funds. Pandelani noted that the claims payments have addressed a range of legal considerations linked to the tragedy.
Regarding the 10 individuals who died in earlier clashes before the main incident, Pandelani clarified that no claims have been lodged against the government for these deaths. He underscored that the fatalities should not be confined solely to the reported 34 miners but should include the additional 10 individuals whose deaths were not attributed to the government or the State.
The article delves into the potential for constitutional law damages to be brought against the state. Pandelani mentioned that the Solicitor-General’s office currently needs more mandate to handle such matters. However, he expressed the office’s readiness to explore this avenue upon instruction. He highlighted the complexity of applying constitutional litigation, a concept that did not exist at the time of the incident, and the need for clear instructions from relevant stakeholders.
Pandelani concluded by acknowledging the progress in orchestrating and harmonising the Marikana litigation. He emphasised the resolution of numerous claims as evidence of the government’s unwavering commitment to justice and due process.
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