Over R69 million paid to families of Marikana massacre victims

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By Kailene Pillay Time of article published17m ago

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The South African government has paid over R69 million in reparations to families who lost loved ones during the 2012 Marikana massacre.

However, the state has reached a stalemate in settling on an amount for constitutional damages.

Solicitor General, Fhedzisani Pandelani from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development provided an update on the Marikana reparations.

He said the government offered an additional R500 000 per family for general and constitutional damages but, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri) who represents the majority of the families have rejected that amount.

Pandelani said SERI wanted an additional R1.5 million per family.

Monday marked the ninth anniversary of the killing of 34 striking mineworkers at the hands of the SAPS in Marikana and there have been calls for the reparation process for the victims’ families to be sped up.

Pandelani said general and constitutional damages were not easy to quantify and since their offer was rejected, the matter would have to be decided in court.

Pandelani said the first payment made to a victims family was in June 2017.

“If you invoke the once and for all rule, you would not actually look back. But we are saying that we’re dealing with human beings here and these are matters of importance.

“The R500 000 we are offering is purely in the spirit of good faith,” he said.

For those who suffered injuries in the Marikana massacre, Pandelani said they were looking to settle those claims soon.

He said the state has made offers to the attorneys representing those who were injured and were awaiting a response.

“Fundamentally, those who have passed away, we have settled all those matters. Those who are still alive, we are requesting that we need to be ramping up issues of settlement, but as it were, we are at the receiving end from a litigation point of view,” he said.

Pandelani also urged those affected families who lodged cases for reparation to contact the Office of the State Attorney in Pretoria to follow up as “we do not have a direct relationship with those families”.

He said the state dealt directly with legal firms and Seri and while those families may not have received their compensation, it was up to them to verify their situation with the relevant office.

“We do not want to be involved in the relationship between attorney and client.

“But if it is that any of the people, who in fact mandated any of the legal representatives to deal with these matters, still feel aggrieved and don’t have direct answers… they are free to approach the office of the state attorney,” he said.

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