Johannesburg - The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri) has expressed its displeasure that no police officer has been charged for the murder of 34 striking Lonmin mineworkers nine years ago.
On Tuesday, Seri said since 2012 the families and surviving mineworkers have continued to bear the trauma and loss which has been compounded by the lack of justice and accountability for the events at Marikana.
According to the institute, to date only nine police officers have been charged but for the murders committed in the days leading up to the August 16, 2012 massacre.
The four police officers who were charged for crimes relating to hiding the circumstances around Motiso Otsile Van Wyk Segalala’s death have all been acquitted.
Six police officers are standing trial for Pumzile Sokanyile’s death including former North West deputy police commissioner Major-General William Mpembe.
Mpembe also faces charges for the murders of mineworkers Semi Jokanisi, Thembelakhe Mati and police officers Warrant Officers Tsietsi Hendrik Monene, and Sello Lepaaku.
In addition, the ex-top cop is also charged with the attempted murders of six mineworkers and another police officer.
However, no one has been charged and prosecuted for the deaths of the mineworkers killed on August 16, 2012.
Seri said Marikana exposed the dire state of public order policing in the country.
”The continued lack of accountability for Marikana and the failure to learn from the lessons have resulted in more deaths and injuries since 2012,” the institute noted.
It said police appeared ill-prepared and lacking in capacity during the unrest and looting in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last month.
”This has understandably been contrasted with police heavy-handed enforcement of the lockdown in 2020, and their disproportionate use of force against past protests and other crowd incidents,” Seri said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole have also been urged to consider the 2018 report of the panel of experts on policing and crowd management sincerely and urgently and implement its recommendations.
”Were they to do so, South Africa could see a transformed, more effective policing system that protects the safety and rights of members of the public and ensures a more professionalised, demilitarised and accountable police service,” Seri said.