Marikana massacre: Right2Know calls on NPA to speed up prosecutions

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Mgcineni Noki, also known as the man in the green blanket, rallies mine workers at Marikana ahead of their encounter with police in August 2012.
Mgcineni Noki, also known as the man in the green blanket, rallies mine workers at Marikana ahead of their encounter with police in August 2012.
Leon Sadiki
  • On the eighth anniversary of the Marikana massacre, Right2Know has called on the NPA to speed up prosecutions.
  • It said no one had yet been held accountable. 
  • R2K wants the panel of experts' report into policing in Marikana made public.

Right2Know (R2K) on Sunday called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to speed up prosecutions of those implicated in the Marikana massacre.

Sunday marked the eighth anniversary of the tragic event.

In a statement, R2K said very little, if anything, has changed for the families of the murdered miners.

READ | Mathunjwa: Marikana massacre was an 'unholy alliance' between state and capitalists

"To this day, no one has been held to account for what transpired in Marikana, neither the political heads, nor the police," it said.

"The lack of political will, uninspiring prosecutorial process in holding those responsible accountable, paints a bleak picture on our democracy and the ability of government to deliver justice for mostly working and poor classes of our society."

It added that the government had failed to transform and to hold those responsible accountable, "even after the recommendations made by a panel of experts, the manner in which our police conducted themselves during this unfortunate incident".

"If we are to avert such tragedies, like what happened in Marikana, we bear the responsibility to ensure the implementation of the recommendations to transform the Public Order Policing (POP) to address the inadequacies as highlighted by the panel of experts' report," the organisation said.

The Farlam Commission recommended that police undergo training to improve public policing and establish and increase Public Order Policing units amid increasing protest action in the country.

"The systemic challenges facing the South African Police Service stubbornly persist to this day, pointing once again to the lack of political will to take corrective measures in order to avert tragedies where police are implicated from happening," R2K said.

The report also raised concern around a lack of skills and equipment needed for crowd control.

"We are still seeing an inadequate number of properly-trained Public Order Policing units to respond to the growing community unrests witnessed in our communities.

"The recommendations having not been implemented, we remain with an inadequately trained POP and that raises concerns about the potential for the police to continue to conduct themselves in a manner that is inconsistent with the law," the organisation said.

R2K said that, instead, there continues to be training inadequacies within the POP and a continuation of a "violent and repressive" response from the police against protesting people.

"It remains a concern for us that since the report was tabled in 2018, the report is yet to be made public rather than gathering dust in the minister's office.

"If we are to believe in the functionality of our democracy, where accountability, transparency remain important values, the ministry has to swiftly act in the interest of the public and release the report."

R2K reiterated its call for the police to:
  • Release and make public the panel of experts' report into policing in Marikana;
  • Implement the recommendations as detailed in the report, while providing a progress report on how far the ministry has attempted to implement the recommendation, if at all, and what the next plan is for ensuring that transformation happens;
  • Publicly pledge and commit to ensuring the implementing of the recommendations;
  • Publicise resource allocation with clear timelines and report mechanisms to ensure the transformation as required.

The fact that only a few of those implicated had stood trial to this day is "disillusioning", R2K said, adding that it is concerning a large chunk of those involved are not facing charges for their role in the massacre.

ALSO READ | Marikana massacre: Children of miners killed still waiting for justice to be served, 8 years on

"We call on the NPA to speed up the prosecutions of all those implicated, especially all the police that IPID recommended be indicted. We have seen hardly no one whatsoever, being held to account for the massacre that remains a painful dent on our young democracy.   

"We remain committed to challenging the establishment for the increase in the militarised policing response of the police towards protests and dissent in our country since the Marikana massacre.

"We cannot continue to have protesters suffering injuries and, at times, death at the hands of those who are meant to serve and protect them," R2K said.

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