Commissioners and Commanders Police Leadership and the Marikana Massacre

This monograph analyzed the functioning of the police system, with an emphasis on the leadership and command levels, in the build-up to the Marikana massacre on 16 August 2012, when police killed 34 miners who were striking at the Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana. Police launched their tactical intervention in the events up to about 15:30 on Thursday, 16 August, during which the massacre took place. The monograph examines decision making and the exercise of authority and influence by senior leadership of the South African Police Service (the SAPS), particularly the senior national and provincial leaders (National Commissioner Phiyega and North West Provincial Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo), and senior SAPS commanders (Major Generals Mpembe and Annandale). The key findings of the Marikana Commission are summarized, followed by an overview of the conflict at the mine in August 2012. This conflict involved the strikers, mine management and two unions, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). The monograph outlines some of the aspects of this conflict, including questions about the political alignment of the parties involved and how the strike, launched on Thursday 9 August, rapidly escalated into violence.