16 August 2012
Police opened fire killing 34 striking mine-workers at Marikana, North West Province. As a result, 78 people were left wounded while more than 250 people were arrested. The protesting miners were demanding a wage increase at the Lonmin platinum mine. This was the biggest incident of police brutality since the dawn of democracy and it revived memories of security-police brutality suffered under Apartheid. Addressing a press conference, the South African Police Service (SAPS) authorities claimed its officers had been under attack by a group of mine-workers armed with dangerous weapons. President Jacob Zuma cut short his attendance of the 32nd Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, in order to visit the site of the incident. Upon his return, he announced that a commission of inquiry would be appointed to probe the Marikana shootings. Zuma said: “we have to uncover the truth about what happened here. In this regard I've decided to institute a commission of inquiry. The inquiry will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident”. President Zuma appointed retired Judge Ian Farlam, as Chairman of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. His announcement came amid memorial services for the deceased held in the Eastern Cape, North West and Johannesburg.

De Wet, P. (2012) ‘Zuma announces inquiry into Marikana shooting’, from Mail & Guardian, 17 August, [online], available at www.mg.co.za (Accessed: 14 August 2013)|

Perry, A. (2012) ‘South Africa’s Police Open Fire on Striking Miners: The Video’, from Time World, 16 August, [online], available at https://world.time.com (Accessed: 14 August 2013)|

Aljazeera, (2012) ‘Dozens killed in South Africa mine shooting’, [online], available at www.aljazeera.com (Accessed: 14 August 2013)|

All Africa.com, (2012) ‘South Africa: Zuma Leaves SADC Summit to Visit Mine’, 17 August, [online], available at https://allafrica.com (Accessed: 13 August 2013)|

YNews, (2012), ‘JZ announces Marikana commission’, [online], available at www.ynews.co.za (Accessed: 14 August 2013)