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SAHRC withdraws the assistance of Legal Resource Centre in Marikana

09 October 2012

ATTENTION: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission has taken the decision to withdraw its brief to the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) following concerns raised by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development of a potential conflict of interest with regards to the Commission’s investigation into the Marikana massacre and LRC’s role in representing victims and the families of miners.

The Commission had requested expert assistance from the LRC in the initial stages of its investigation to help the SAHRC in making an informed assessment.

The Portfolio Committee, while acknowledging the independence of the SAHRC, raised concerns with regard to the issue of conflict of interest based on the relationship with the LRC who are representing some of the family members of the victims at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana tragedy, and was concerned about duplication of roles and wasteful costs given the scope of our investigation and the terms of reference of the Farlam Commission.

The South African Human Rights Commission held several meetings to discuss these concerns and finally resolved that, in the interest of ensuring that the SAHRC maintains its role as an independent and unbiased institution, that it would be in the best interest of all parties to terminate its relationship with the LRC in terms of the Marikana investigation.

We are, however, continuing with our investigation into allegations of human rights abuses.

The Commission received two complaints into this matter - one from an NGO, another referred by the Office of the Public Protector - and has decided that it is in the public interest to proceed with an investigation.

The Commission will shortly be issuing a statement detailing the processes it will follow in this investigation.

The Commission will however continue to work very closely with the LRC on several other matters involving human rights violations.


END.

Issued by:
Isaac Mangena
Head: Communications
South African Human Rights Commission
071 884 8273

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



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