Marikana Killings in 2012 Must Be Prosecuted, Amnesty Says

  • President Zuma in December said police would be charged
  • Victims include 34 protesters killed in one day at Lonmin mine

A group of men carry the body of one of the 34 striking miners that were killed by police in Aug. 2012.

Photographer: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International urged South African authorities to move forward with prosecutions over the killing by police of 34 people in a single day at Lonmin Plc’s Marikana platinum operations five years ago.

“The tragedy of the Marikana killings is compounded by the shocking fact that no-one responsible for the bloodshed has yet been held accountable,” Shenilla Mohamed, executive director of Amnesty International South Africa, said in a statement. The organization has also called for victims and their families to receive adequate compensation.

While no-one has been prosecuted for the Aug. 16, 2012, killings, charges have been filed in a case relating to 10 other deaths that took place in the week ahead of the incident, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority said Monday.

Violence broke out at Marikana, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, after thousands of rock-drill operators went on strike. On Aug. 16, 2012, riot police killed 34 people and more than 70 others were injured. South African President Jacob Zuma appointed a panel led by retired Judge Ian Farlam to probe the killings and the deaths of 10 other people in the lead-up to the police shooting.

A memorial ceremony is planned on Wednesday at the site of the shootings.

The police used the wrong tactics to disperse the strikers, while the conduct of senior officers during the subsequent inquiry was questionable, Farlam said in his 2015 report. He also recommended that the government assess whether Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega was fit to remain in her post. Phiyega was suspended in October 2015.

Read: Probe Finds Lonmin Failed to Respond to Marikana Force Peril

Zuma in December said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate recommended the prosecutions of police officers for offenses including murder, attempted murder and defeating and obstructing justice.

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