Will we finally see justice for the Marikana miners?

12 December 2016 - 10:45am
Press release

It has been four years since the South African Police Services gunned down almost 150 mine workers at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in South Africa. Of those 34 died, in a massacre that shook the country and shocked the world.

On Sunday 11 December 2016 the South African Presidency finally announced that some police officers would be charged for these killings, and that compensation will be paid to the families of those that died.

War on Want's partner, the Marikana Support Campaign, has released the following statement on these developments:

On 11 December, the South African Presidency released a statement entitled, ‘Update by President Zuma on steps taken by departments to implement Farlam Commission recommendations’. The update states that criminal charges have been, or will be, brought against certain senior members of the South African Police Services.

This is an important advancement and is to be welcomed. Four and a half years after the massacre, it is an admission of state culpability for the murder, shooting and wrongful arrests of striking mineworkers in August 2012.

While the Marikana Support Campaign applauds the prosecution of police responsible for the killings, President Zuma’s statement omits any mention of Lonmin and its involvement in this operation.

The evidence presented to the Farlam Commission strongly suggests that Lonmin executives enabled and led this deadly police operation. It is also inconceivable that police would have acted with such force without the go ahead from Cabinet and therefore the prosecutions of senior police officials can only be the beginning of revealing the chain of command that led to the killings.

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