17 August 2017

South Africa: Not One Police Officer Prosecuted Yet for Involvement in Marikana - NPA

Photo: SABC
The Marikana Commission Visiting the Shooting Scene at the Lonmin Mines

Legal proceedings against the 72 police officers involved in the killing of 34 miners during the Marikana Massacre has not yet started, five years after the tragedy, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

The dockets investigating the police officials involved in the killing of the miners on August 16, 2012, has not been received from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told News24.

He said investigations surrounding the two miners killed on August 13 are at an "advanced stage."

"Prosecutors will decide in due course whether any person(s) should be prosecuted in respect of the matter."

IPID investigations into August 13 killings were handed over to the NPA in April, but was sent back to IPID "with queries," the police watch dog unit's spokesperson Moses Dlamini said.

He said the amended dockets are set to arrive at NPA offices on August 22.

Slow progress

In total, 47 people died in the violent protest at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana, including four security guards and two police officers.

Miners demanded that their pay be increased to R12 500 per month, a near tripling of their salaries at the time.

Police portfolio committee chairperson Francois Beukman admitted that "progress has been slow" following the death of the miners.

He, however, believed that public order policing has improved since 2012.

"We haven't seen any big incident where there was [an] unnecessary [use of] force that led to a number of people killed and so forth," Beukman said.

DA MP and Police portfolio committee member, Zakhele Mbhele, criticised the lack of concrete action by the NPA in the prosecution of police officials.

"[This is] very-very odd... all of us saw the video footage of guns shots going off and 34 people dying at their hands. Someone is responsible for pulling the trigger."

Mbhele said IPID is unable to do their job properly because they are "being strangled in terms of resources."

The South African Treasury previously shot down an IPID request for an additional R5-million to complete investigations.

The South African Police Service referred enquiries for comment to the Ministry of Police.

The Ministry of Police did not respond to repeated request for comment from News24 since Tuesday.

Source: News24

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