Lonmin mineworkers that were injured and arrested during a strike at Marikana in 2012 have filed papers in the High Court in Pretoria, seeking compensation for injuries they sustained and for being unlawful detained.
Lawyers for the 275 workers filed the papers against President Jacob Zuma, minister of police Nathi Nhleko and the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
They are claiming almost R3 million each for compensation. They are also claiming for malicious prosecutions, pain and suffering.
Thirty four other mineworkers died when police opened fire on a group of protestors.
Their lawyer, Andries Nkome says, “For example we have Madwansi (one of the mineworkers), he definitely will not be able to go back to work and it’s not just him, there’s so many other people that will not be able to go back to work as a result of injuries that they sustained.”
He adds that, “The scale of proof in civil suits is on a balance of probabilities, so there’s no doubt that those people were arrested by the police on the 16th, there’s no doubt that they were taken through to courts and there’s no doubt that the cases that they had to face had to be withdrawn. All of this happened in the public eye. So definitely yes, there is a lot of confidence in so far as an ability to prove this case is concerned.” On Thursday Amnesty International has called for President Jacob Zuma to suspend those behind the 2012 Marikana killings. The organisation says the President should start by suspending National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega.
Three years on, not a single member of the SAPS has been suspended or held to account.
“With police authorities closing ranks in the face of strong findings against them in the Farlam Commission report, it is vital that President Zuma shows strong leadership and takes action against those right at the top of the police service,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa.
One of the Farlam Commission’s recommendations was a judicially-led board of inquiry into the National Commissioner’s fitness to hold office.
“President Zuma should use his authority to establish this urgently and to suspend the National Commissioner pending the outcome of this inquiry. This should in turn create and pave the way for the suspension of other police officials who are implicated and facilitate other disciplinary and investigation processes as recommended by the Farlam Commission,” the organisation recommended.