South Africa: SA Still Waiting for Action On Farlam Commission Findings

Striking Lonmin miners gather on a hill near the Marikana mine before the shooting in 2012 (file photo).

The Farlam Commission made several recommendations at the end of its marathon hearings that would, if implemented, go a long way to preventing another outrage such as the Marikana massacre. But seven years since the 16 August 2012 incident, the recommendations are yet to be implemented, according to members of the panel of experts set up to assist the police. And seven years on, not a single police officer has been prosecuted for the deaths of the 34 miners.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana massacre highlighted poor leadership from SAPS as the main factor that led to the police opening fire on protesting miners, killing 34 on 16 August 2012.

It recommended that the appointments of senior command personnel were audited to avoid confusion among the rank and file within SAPS, that the use of force in public order policing needed to be reviewed and that automatic weapons had no place in public policing.

The National Development Plan (NDP) shared a similar sentiment, calling for the demilitarisation of the SAPS "in order to ensure that the police were a civil service". In the Research Study on the Demilitarisation of SAPS, Visible Policing in the Western Cape published...

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