South Africa to pay Marikana families

Police stand by as striking miners celebrate securing a 22% pay hike from London-listed Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana on September 18, 2012.Image copyright

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The Marikana massacre is the most deadly police action since the end of white minority rule in 1994

South Africa’s government says it will pay compensation to the families of mineworkers killed during a wage dispute in Marikana in 2012.

The details of the payments will be determined by an independent panel led by a judge, President Jacob Zuma announced.

Police shot dead 34 miners at the Lonmin platinum mine, claiming they were acting in self-defence.

The families have not yet reacted to the president’s announcement.

They have already filed suits claiming compensation for loss of income and medical costs.

The shooting was the most deadly single police incident since the end of apartheid in 1994, and shocked the nation.

Many of the mineworkers who died on 16 August were sole bread-winners and the compensation will be a welcome relief for their families, says the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

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The widows of the miners who were shot want the killers to be arrested and punished

In the days before the shooting, 10 other people died at the site, including non-striking miners, security guards and two police officers who were hacked to death.

An enquiry set up by President Zuma sat for two years and looked at the roles played by the police, the management of the platinum mine, Lonmin, the unions and government.

The Farlam Commission found that the police had a “defective” plan to break up the strike and concluded they were wrong to proceed with it.

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September 30th, 2015

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