During the month of August this year, SERI commemorated the Marikana massacre by highlighting the lack of justice and accountability and the impact it continues to have on the victims of the massacre. To date, only nine police officers have been charged, however, no one has been charged and prosecuted for the deaths of the mineworkers killed on 16 August 2012. SERI also sought to advocate for the implementation of the Panel of Experts Report on Policing and Crowd Management which was released by the Minister of Police Bheki Cele in March this year. The Panel's report was submitted to the Minister in 2018.
As part of these advocacy efforts, SERI helped organise two televised panel discussions that focused on the lack of justice for the Marikana massacre and the urgent need for the South African Police Service to implement the recently released Panel of Experts report particularly in the context of the July unrest and other public order policing failures.
The Daily Maverick published an op-ed entitled "Marikana and the many faces of justice", written by SERI's Yvonne Erasmus, which argued for the need to expand our understanding of justice beyond retribution to include justice as distribution, recognition, and transformation. In it, Erasmus writes, "justice is not just about crime and punishment, important as they are. Justice should also be about fairness and the equal distribution of wealth, recognition of one another as equally human, and the transformation of both our institutions and ourselves. Only then can we say that justice for the events at Marikana has truly been secured."
SERI also collaborated with partner organisations (Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF)) to produce a set of infographics on the Panel of Experts Report on Policing and Crowd Management. The infographics were developed to inform members of the public and the media about the contents of the panel report and its key recommendations. More specifically, they provide information about the circumstances the led to the Panel of Experts being established, namely the Marikana massacre of 2012; the different issues the panel examined; what the panel said on professionalisation, demilitarisation, and accountability; what the panel said on protest, the law, and crowd management; and what is needed for the successful and timeous implementation of the report.
In August, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s Solicitor General Fhedzisani Pandelani provided an update on the reparations paid to the victims of the Marikana Massacre in a media briefing. However, some statements made by the Solicitor General were inaccurate. In response, SERI issued a press statement standing by families’ claims for damages against the state and providing clarity on the particulars of those claims.