'South African miners charged with murder: throwback to apartheid' | Law

'South African miners charged with murder: throwback to apartheid'

Associate Professor Andrea Durbach speaks to ABC's The World Today (31 August 2012) about the South African miners who  have been charged with murder.

ASHLEY HALL: It's been labelled grotesque, Kafkaesque, and a throwback to apartheid.

Prosecutors in South African have charged 270 mine workers with the murder of more than 30 of their colleagues who were killed by police two weeks ago.

The clash at the Marikana Mine was the worst day of police violence in South Africa since the end of apartheid, but long time of observers of South Africa's progress towards full democracy say the move to charge the mine workers and not the police, is a dangerous sign that the bad old days are not over.

ANDREA DURBACH: I think it potentially is politically motivated. I think, unfortunately, it's a combination of fear on the part of the authorities to be seen to be acting. I would imagine Lonmin mines are very concerned about their reputation and economic profile, and they might have hence put some pressure on the government to act decisively, but in this case erroneously.

To read the full transcript or listen to the interview please click here.