December 16, 2017

Five years on, Marikana victims still wait for justice in South Africa

A gathering commemorating the Marikana Massacre (Photo: BBC)

Victims of the bloody tragedy at Marikana, in which 34 protesters were killed and at least 70 were injured by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) during a mining strike, are still awaiting justice five years on, Amnesty International said today.

The organisation is calling on the South African authorities to ensure that those suspected of criminal responsibility in relation to the 2012 killings are brought to trial, and that the victims and their families receive reparations, including adequate compensation.

“The tragedy of the Marikana killings is compounded by the shocking fact that no one responsible for the bloodshed has yet been held accountable,” said Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa.

“If the South African government wants to demonstrate that it is committed to truth and human rights, it needs to ensure that the wheels of justice start turning far faster than they have done over the past five years.”

In June 2015 the Farlam Commission, which was set up by the South African government to look into the circumstances of the killings, recommended a full investigation under the Director of Public Prosecutions, with a view to ascertaining the criminal liability of members of the SAPS who were involved in the events at Marikana.

In December 2016 President Jacob Zuma announced that criminal charges would be brought against senior police officers involved in the killings.

In March 2017, police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) idenitifed 72 police officers for prosecution in relation to their roles in the killings at Marikana. The dockets were submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority in May.

To date, however, no police officers involved have been prosecuted.


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