#Marikana: Who should be charged for the massacre?

The ISS released a report detailing what happened at scene two known as the “killing koppie” on the day of the shootings in 2012.

Judge Ian Farlam shared his experience as chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana massacre. Picture: Twitter/ @issafrica

JOHANNESBURG - Six years after the Marikana massacre, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has released new details about the day 34 mineworkers were gunned down.

It has released a report detailing what happened at scene two known as the “killing koppie” on the day of the shootings in 2012.

Judge Ian Farlam, the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into Marikana, has led Wednesday afternoon's briefing ahead of the anniversary of the massacre on Thursday.

The report also notes that officers who thought they were being shot at by miners may have been reacting to bullets which were coming from their colleagues on the other side.

Farlam says it is difficult to give a definitive answer on who should be charged.

“Because you don’t actually shoot someone desiring to kill them. But when you shoot in the bush, you foresee a human being may be there… and that human being may die [but] you are reckless whether that will happen.”


Farlam says new investigations by the ISS are a valuable contribution.

The retired judge says he hopes the report can be taken to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and to the provincial director of public prosecutions.

He says the findings of the ISS report indicate that the shots fired by police officers at scene two were not in self-defence.

“And we recommended that a panel of police experts be set up. Private experts investigate the whole question: what must be done to make sure that our South African police service acts in accordance with the best world practice, has the appropriate equipment, and that events such as the Marikana massacre will never happen again.”


South Africa’s new leadership should erase the stain of the Marikana massacre six years ago by prosecuting the police commanders and those who pulled the triggers in the country’s worst post-apartheid killing.

ISS Justice and Violence Prevention head Gareth Newman says police can only put Marikana massacre to bed if they take responsibility for the unnecessary killings by holding accountable the commander and those who pulled the triggers.

Farlam told the ISS seminar the re-militarisation of police contributed to the massacre.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)