Fifty miners released but South African authorities in turmoil

Fifty of the South African miners who were charged with the murder of their colleagues in the Marikana massacre have celebrated their freedom outside a courthouse in South Africa.

Even though the shots that killed the 34 men were fired by the police, the mine workers who escaped the bullets had been told that they would face murder trials.

So, they sang and danced, then marched out of the courthouse after being told that some of the charges against them were to be dropped.

The miners may celebrate their ‘win’, but they will soon have to resume their lives as ‘losers’ in South Africa’s economic apartheid.

The pay dispute which sparked their illegal strike has not been resolved, and wildcat action has spread to other mines around South Africa.

If anything, frustration is growing at how the riches that are made from the country’s platinum mines are carved up.

The massacre has left many parts of South African authority in turmoil. The police force seems to be in chaos and prosecutors stand accused of acting without legal rationale.

Those institutions will be the subject of countless reports and investigations.

And yet, the underlying problems which led to the strikes and, in turn, led to the deaths of 34 men, persist.

It seems that that there is a far smaller appetite amongst ministers for high-profile investigations into those issues in the most unequal society in the world.