Marikana Massacre: ’11 years gone, still no legal action taken’
The Marikana Massacre occurred 11 years ago today, and no formal arrests have been made. Will family members of the victims ever see justice?
The Marikana Massacre took place 11 years ago today 16 August. In 2012, around 34 striking mine employees were shot and killed by police.
The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) has chastised the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for postponing prosecution for the heinous killings of 34 mineworkers.
SABC reported, the institute, which represents mine workers’ widows and families, claims that the NPA does not take their plight seriously and that it is shocking that the NPA has not decided to take legal action despite receiving dockets from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) some time ago.
WHAT IS SERI SAYING REGARDING THE MARIKANA ISSUE?
SERI’s Nomzamo Zondo explains: “The NPA does not take the family’s plight seriously.” IPID has confirmed that the dockets have been handed over to the NPA. We’ve been at this for eleven years, and each day that passes diminishes the chances of success.
“The experience having watched the prosecution, this requires a lot of time and therefore you’re negotiating for time between the defence attorney, the prosecution and the court. So, even the amount of time that will be needed once the prosecution starts, means we’d still be here at the 20th anniversary of Marikana.”
WHAT IS THE NPA RESPONSE?
The NPA has blamed this on a shortage of human resources.
North West National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Henry Mamothame says, “In relation to the Marikana matters involving the 34 miners who died on 16 august 2022, the voluminous docket which was initially dealt with at the NPA national office, was returned to the North West division for decision mid-2022.”
“At the time, the division had a challenge on unfilled vacancies, which resulted in the slow process of studying the docket. That has since been resolved by the filling of posts in 2023. The team has been assembled to study the massive docket to fast track the finalization of reaching the decision on the direction that is to be taken.”
“From what I’ve seen of the prosecution, this takes a lot of time, so you’re negotiating for time between the defense attorney, the prosecution, and the court.” So, even with the amount of time required once the prosecution begins, we’d still be here on the 20th anniversary of Marikana.”
THE NPA BLAMED THE LACK OF HUMAN RESOURCES
The NPA has attributed this to a lack of human resources.
According to Henry Mamothame, a spokesperson for the North West National Prosecuting Authority, “in relation to the Marikana matters involving the 34 miners who died on 16 August 2022, the voluminous docket which was initially dealt with at the NPA national office, was returned to the North West division for decision mid-2022.”
“At the time, the division was dealing with an unfilled vacancy challenge, which slowed the process of studying the docket.” That has since been remedied by the appointment of new employees in 2023. The committee has been created to review the huge docket in order to expedite the finalization of the decision on the course to be taken.”