South Africa: Marikana Massacre - Political Will Is Urgently Needed to Deliver Overdue Justice

Screenshot from the documentary, Miners Shot Down (file photo).

Each year in the lead up to the commemoration of the Marikana massacre on 16 August, there is a similar refrain: there's been no justice for the victims as perpetrators continue to avoid prosecution. Here is a look at what happened on this day eight years ago in the lead up to the atrocity and what has and, importantly, has not been done to achieve justice.

On the afternoon of 14 August 2012 Mgcineni Noki climbed onto the bull bar of a police Nyala vehicle to talk to SAPS negotiators through a porthole. Nine people had already been killed during the strike at Lonmin and the police had approached the Marikana koppie to ask thousands of striking mineworkers to lay down their weapons and disperse.

Noki, known as "the man in the green blanket", approached the Nyala with four other men. The strike was about wages, he told the police, and workers wanted to speak to Lonmin company managers. He explained that the workers had gathered on the koppie days earlier after members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) had fired shots at them.

When the police heard that another worker, Lonmin supervisor Isiah Twala, had been murdered, negotiations...

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