It has been a decade since the Marikana Massacre.

On 16 August 2012, rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades herded striking miners towards Tactical Response Team members, who, along with other units, were armed with R5 rifles capable of automatic fire. They shot and killed 34 miners and left 78 seriously injured.

Police advance after shooting striking workers with live ammunition on 16 August 2012

What did these miners do to find themselves in this deadly predicament?

They were striking for better working conditions and an increase in wages of R12500 per month(approximately £600). Their employer, Lonmin mine’s market capitalisation was £18.32 billion.

Lonmin platinum mine workers one room tin shacks with no electricity have to share one toilet with no running water and still pay R500.00 for these shacks at Marikana Rustenburg. Photo: Leon Nicholas

Following the massacre, a commission of inquiry ensured. The commission’s report was released in 2015 calling for the “establishment of a panel of experts which must look at exploring ways and means of alternative methods of policing insofar as crowd management and control is concerned”.

A report by the panel of experts, dated May 2018, was released publicly in March 2021. It contained 136 recommendations – 45 of which related to issues including professionalism and accountability, while 91 were about how to deal with protests and crowds. The police ministry has not been forthright which, and if any, recommendations have been implemented.

Marikana Massacre widows gather in mourning

The office of the solicitor general has settled payments for more than half of the outstanding 48 claims in relation to the Marikana massacre. R75 million was paid out to the families of the deceased but the state is still involved in settlement cases in court.

The lack of accountability and lack of police reform is unjust.  Not a single police officer had been charged for the killing of the 34 mine workers.

Their lives matter!

Remembering… 

Thobile Mpumza; Thabiso Thelejane; Anele Mdizeni; Makhosandile Mkhonjwa; Julius Mancotywa; Janeveke Liau; Thabiso Mosebetsane; Mafolisi Mabiya; Ntandazo Nokamba; Fezile Saphendu; “Ngxande”; Sitelega Gadlela; Henry Pato; Micheal Ngweyi; Patrick Akhona Jijase; Bonginkosi Yona; Andries Msenyeno; Mzukisi Sompeta; Jackson Lehura; Mphumzeni Ngxande; Mpangeli Lukusa; Mongezeleli Ntenetya; Cebisile Yana; Mguneni Noki; Khawamare Elias Monesa; Bongani Ndongophele; John Ledingoane; Babalo Mtshazi; Thembinkosi Gwelani; Nkosiyabo Xalabile; Bongani Mdze; Teleng Mohai; Modisaotsile Sagalala; Molefi Ntsoele; Hassan Fundi (security guard); Frans Matlhomola Mabelane (security guard); Thapelo Eric Mabebe; Tembelakhe Mati; Hendrick Tsietsi Mohene (policeman); Sello Ronnie Lepaaka (policeman); Sandi Teyise; Mlanduli Hendry Saba; and Pumzile Sokanyile

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