S.Africa ready to pay Marikana damages, says government
The South African government is ready to pay out compensation to victims of a 2012 police shooting that left 34 mineworkers dead and dozens wounded, the presidency said Thursday.
The miners were gunned down after police were deployed to break up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the Lonmin-owned Marikana platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg in August 2012.
Last year families of the victims lodged compensation claims against the government, listing a total of 326 dependents as having been affected by the violence.
The government said it was “ready to make an offer to settle these claims in the next few months,” once the amount for each claim has been determined.
“Government is currently in the process of determining the quantum and will make offer of payments in full settlement of claims,” said a statement issued by the president’s office.
“Government has appointed an actuary to calculate the quantum of each claim. Government is therefore preparing to make an offer once all loss of support claims have been completed.”
Presidential spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga told AFP that there were 34 claims for loss of support, 81 for injuries suffered during the shooting, and 275 for unlawful arrest. Some of the claims overlap, he added.
An official inquiry established by President Jacob Zuma put much of the blame for the massacre on police tactics used to disperse the strikers, but it did not go as far as recommending compensation.
Ten other people were killed in the days preceding the incident, including two police officers and four non-striking workers.