- Solicitor-General Fhedzisani Pandelani has given an update on the progress made regarding Marikana-related litigations.
- Currently, he says, there are 48 outstanding claims relating to personal injury, which are expected to be resolved this month.
- This month marks 10 years since 44 people were killed and 78 seriously injured by the police in Marikana.
The government is looking to finalise outstanding claims emanating from the August 2012 Marikana massacre.
So said Solicitor-General Fhedzisani Pandelani at a media briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday.
This month marks 10 years since 44 people were killed and 78 seriously injured when the police opened fire on protesting miners in Marikana, North West.
Pandelani gave an update on the progress made regarding Marikana-related litigations.
He said the outstanding matters would be resolved by end of this month.
“As I stand here today, there were 48 matters that were remaining, but none of those matters related to loss of support due to the death of any other person that has proffered a claim against the state because all those matters have been dealt with as [of] August 2021.
“The 48 matters that I am referring to would relate in the main to matters where there were personal injuries, where people had to be sent for medical examination…”
Pandelani added of the 48 claims, half of those have already been settled while the parties were still discussing the others.
“All of those matters were set down by the [Gauteng] High Court in Pretoria, and the directive was that all those matters should either be settled or; alternatively, they will have to serve before the court before the end of August this year. As my colleagues sit here right now, our other colleagues are in court.”
“It is regrettable that we could still sit and stand here and talk about matters that, in fact, occurred 10 years ago,” he said.
“I say that it is regrettable that these matters have, in fact, gone this far, and this is owing to a number of factors. There was never any policy applicable within the state which will compel the state to embark on early settlement matters, be it via mediation or arbitration.
“I need to indicate that delays such as have been occasioned in these matters will be a thing of the past because the Office of the Solicitor-General has already developed a policy that is binding within state departments for early settlement of matters, and that policy has been approved by Cabinet by 9 November 2021.”
Last year, Pandelani told a briefing an initial lawsuit was brought against the government by a grouping represented by the Wits law clinic – and that had since been paid to the tune of R3 995 121, News24 reported.
He also revealed 36 claims were instituted by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) against the government on behalf of families who had lost loved ones.
Pandelani said 35 of those matters had been finalised and payment were made.
He added in total, the government had settled to the tune of R69 083 005 million, which had been “paid and payment has been confirmed”.
“However, the SERI came back after we paid the just under R70 million and demanded general and constitutional demands claim which is not something that is easy to quantity … however in the spirit of humanity, we agreed to pay each family R500 000 … a figure that was turned down by SERI,” said Pandelani at the time.