S Africa to investigate Marikana massacre

Zuma announces commission inquiry requires criminal investigation for police officers in Marikana massacre, which left 34 miners dead

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

South African President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday involvement of police officers in the Marikana massacre in 2012, which resulted in shooting of 34 miners, should be criminally investigated.

The Marikana massacre, which took place on the 25-year anniversary of a nationwide South African miners' strike, started as a strike at a mine owned by Lonmin in the Marikana area and turned violent when South African security forces fired at the miners, killing dozens of them.

Authorities in South Africa have started an inquiry almost three years ago under a special commission.

"The commission has found that Lonmin did not use its best endeavours to resolve the disputes that arose between itself and its workers, who participated in the unprotected strike on the one hand, and between the strikers and those workers who did not participate in the strike,” said President Zuma during a televised conference.

“It also did not respond appropriately to the threat of and the outbreak of violence," said Zuma.

Security forces were not the only ones at fault in the deadly incident, said Zuma, adding that the strikers also contributed to the incident.

"They sang provocative songs and made inflammatory remarks which tended to aggravate an already volatile situation," Zuma said.

The governing African National Congress, led-by President Zuma, has been sparking intense public and international criticism for the deadly police force in the Marikana massacre, as well as for mining companies and worker unions.

Although Zuma defended the action of police, a criminal investigation seems to be inevitable for the responsible officers, regarding the commission’s inquiry.

"The commission recommends a full investigation under the director of public prosecutions in north-west with a view to ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the south who were involved in the incidents at scene one and two."


TRTWorld and agencies