South Africa mining massacre victims offered £75m in damages
Government offers to compensate victims of 2012 police shooting at Marikana mine that left 34 workers dead.
The South African government has offered to pay 1.17bn rand (£75m) in compensation to victims of a 2012 police shooting that left 34 mineworkers dead and dozens wounded.
“The 1.17bn rand presented here is an amount linked to a certain number of individuals’ loss of support’ injuries and of course fatalities,” the police minister, Nathi Nhleko, told lawmakers.
The sum will cover 652 claims made by families whose relatives were killed, miners who were injured and those who were unlawfully arrested.
The 34 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, north-west of Johannesburg, in August 2012.
It was the worst police violence in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.
An official inquiry established by the 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. Last year Zuma announced the government was ready to pay damages.
The police minister did not state when the claims would be settled, saying the timing depended on the finalisation of legal processes.
A senior police official, Nashee Sewpersadh, told lawmakers the offers had been accepted in principle.