On 16 August 2012, a contingent of the South African Police Service opened fire with R5 assault rifles on a group of striking miners on and around Wonderkop near the Marikana platinum mine in South Africa’s North West province. By the time the dust settled, 34 miners were dead and 78 more were wounded. Footage of the massacre travelled around the globe, causing public outrage.
The news footage, however, captured only a dozen or so of the dead. A number of those who died were killed beyond the view of cameras at a nondescript collection of boulders known as Small Koppie, some 300 metres behind Wonderkop. Many of these men had been shot incold blood at close range.
In Murder at Small Koppie, renowned photojournalist Greg Marinovich explores the truth behind the Marikana massacre, looking specifically at the largely untold slaughter at Small Koppie. Drawing on his own meticulous investigations, eyewitness accounts and the findings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry set up by President Jacob Zuma following the massacre, Marinovich accurately reconstructs that fateful day as well as the events leading up to the strike,and looks at the subsequent denials, obfuscation and buck-passing that characterised Lonmin’s, the SAPS’ and the government’s response.
This is the definitive account of the Marikana massacre from the journalist whose award-winning investigation into the tragedy was called the most important piece of South African journalism post apartheid.