Marikana Commission of Inquiry

The Obligation to Investigate and an Opportunity for Reform


On 16 August 2012, members of the South African Police Service (“SAPS”) lethally shot 34 people at Lonmin Mine, Marikana. The shooting occurred after a week of violent events at the mine due to an ongoing labour dispute. The strike started in the week of 9 August and culminated in the shooting by the SAPS on 16 August, a shooting that has been compared to events in a pre-democratic South Africa.

This paper by Kathleen Hardy discusses key recommendations to improve accountability mechanisms in South African law enforcement, as proposed by expert policing witnesses and various parties before the Marikana Commission.