It is a year since the event that shook South Africa to its core. There is no need to belabour what occurred in the dusty veld of Marikana on 16 August 2012, other than to say it was the first massacre by South African security forces in a democratic epoch. GREG MARINOVICH looks at what a year has wrought, and goes into the heart of mining darkness. Photographs by THAPELO LEKGOWA & GREG MARINOVICH.
It took a few weeks, but the true nature of the Marikana massacre inadvertently revealed itself through the esoteric markings made by police crime scene experts on the rocks of Small Koppie, which they call Scene 2.
Here, 18 miners were fatally shot by police in a hidden clearing encircled by a jumble of granite boulders. This was preceded by the gunning down of 16 men in front of the world's press at the Koppie, or Scene 1, as the police call it.
Marikana roused the slumbering concerns of South Africa's once prominent human rights organisations. It was as if the mist of the utopia promised in 1994 was blasted clear by the automatic rifles of the paramilitary police units on that autumn afternoon.