16 August 2018

South Africa: Six Years On, There Is No Accountability for the Elite Police Unit Shootings At Marikana Scene 2


By 16:00 on 16 August 2012, 17 striking miners had been fatally killed in Marikana. Thirty minutes later, another 17 lay dead at the infamous Scene 2. If we dissect what happened at the "small koppie", the National Intervention Unit must be held accountable.

With the sun beginning to dip in the Marikana afternoon sky, shortly after 16:00 on the afternoon of Thursday 16 August 2012, three groups of police converged from different directions on the small koppie.

One of these comprised 78 members of the National Intervention Unit (NIU), an elite South African Police Service unit responsible for "medium to high risk" operations. They are supposed to be highly trained and professional. But at Marikana, the evidence shows, there was a breakdown in discipline by some members involved in the shootings at what is now known as Scene 2.

Inside the small koppie, an area of rocks, small trees and bushes, about 300 striking miners had taken refuge. Fifteen minutes earlier, at 15:54,...

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