On 16 August 2012, the South African Police Services (SAPS) opened fire on thousands of striking miners from Lonmin’s platinum mines in Marikana, leaving 34 people dead.
In the days after the shooting, the official narrative placed the blame for the incident squarely on the miners but allegations of police brutality and collusion between the state and mine company later emerged. A commission of inquiry was set up shortly afterwards to probe the events that led to the massacre. It continues today.
This week Miners Shot Down, a documentary by filmmaker Rehad Desai, was used as evidence at the inquiry. The documentary follows the complex set of events that lead to the deaths at Marikana.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Desai said that the documentary vindicates the striking miners and shows that they acted in self-defence.
“The official narrative was that these people [the miners] were criminals, they were suicidal, they were out killing people, that this was not a labour dispute but this was rather unrest – that these were criminals with some hidden agenda. The footage manages to clear that up,” Desai explains.
There are no plans for the documentary to to be broadcast on South Africa’s free-to-air channels in the near future. However, you can watch the documentary online here.
– Image via the Miners Shot Down website