Miners in South Africa went on strike. As in any strike, there is anger, shouts of violence and, most probably, a few men who arm themselves. The strike at Marikana platinum mine ended in disaster. Police charged the strikers and the ensuing battle killed about 34 men. So, who does the State Prosecutor charge with causing the death of the miners– the miners!! He has charged 270 strikers–those still alive, witht murder of their colleagues.
Lawyers for miners were schocked when the State Prosecutor increased the charge from attempted murder to murder. This is certainly a novel way to handle police brutalilty. There is no question the situation was tense, there is no question that miners were ready for violence, but it is exactly at that moment clear headed police hold back and proceed with some form of negotiations.