- 9 Senior South African Police Service officials will appear in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court in connection with the Marikana massacre
- The Marikana massacre remains the most deadly police intervention in post-apartheid South Africa
- It is understood that officials will face various charges including murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice
The wheels of justice turn slow, but they do turn. This seems particularly apt in the Marikana massacre matter. More than five years after the tragic events of August 2012 the first criminal charges have been filed.
Nine senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officials are due to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court to face various charges related to the massacre.
The officials are understood to face charges of murder, attempted murder, defeating and or obstructing the ends of justice, contravention of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Act and contravention of the Commissions Act.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the charges are related to events on 13 August 2012 when striking miners were stopped by police from making their way from the mine to the infamous koppie. The ‘main’ massacre occurred three days later on 16 August when 34 miners were shot.
The officials are reported to be charged with the deaths of Thembelakhe Mati, Semi Jokanisi and Phumzile Sokhanyile.
When the strike finally ended a total of 44 miners had been killed.
IPID conducted investigations into the actions of some 72 SAPS officers and officials.
The Marikana massacre is a dark cloud which looms large over the head of President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the time he was an executive at Lonmin and urged police to bring a swift end to the strike.
Ramaphosa vowed to play whatever role he needed to in atoning for the massacre which he called the darkest hour of South Africa’s young democracy.
The Socio-Economics Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), which represents 36 of the Marikana families, welcomed Ramaphosa’s comments, but urged him to put his words into deeds.
SERI said in a statement, if the government was serious about atoning for the Marikana massacre, the families of those killed had indicated that a meaningful response would include financial compensation, a formal apology from the police minister and that the police officers involved in the killings be charged criminally and prosecuted.
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