A Narrative of Marikana Tragedy Against Right to Life and Right to Human Dignity Under the South African Constitution

Norless Zibele Nodangala ORCID iD & Paul S. Masumbe ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.4  No.10  Article 12  pp.1297-1306
DOI: https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.202341012 |   Published online 30th October, 2023
© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


The purpose of the study was to assess the events in Marikana against the elements of life and dignity as fundamental rights listed in the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution of 1996 hereafter referred to as the Constitution. This paper argued that stakeholders ignored workers’ rights especially the right to life and dignity at the expense of corporate profit. This paper therefore assessed the Farlam Commission’s findings on the human rights violations by the state and the mine authorities. The Farlam Commission findings and recommendations indicated, further, that one of the consequences of the establishment of a constitutional state that respects every person’s right to life is that tighter restrictions may have to be introduced on the use of lethal force in making arrests. It is argued that human dignity, as one of the founding values of democratic South Africa, plays a pivotal role in addressing human rights issues. The authors contend that the foundations of the new age where all people’s rights must be preserved and respected are a total transformation and a restoration of a human life. This is founded on South Africa’s history of human rights violations, total disdain and terrible inhumanity by the apartheid administration. The authors hope that the arguments set out in this paper will help add to the debate on the realisation of rights and strengthen the practical application of the fundamental rights of life and human dignity as enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights.

Keywords: Human Dignity, Right to Life, Constitutional Values, Democratic State.

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Norless Zibele Nodangala (LLM) is a Lecturer & Chair, T&L, Economic & Business Sciences, Faculty of Commerce & Administration, Walter Sisulu University. His research interest includes among others, Human Rights, especially Social Justice.

Paul S. Masumbe (LLD) is a Senior Lecturer & Chair, Research and Higher Degrees, School of Law, Faculty of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences, Walter Sisulu University. His research interests include International Criminal Law, Human Rights, Labour Law, and selected areas of Private Law.

Nodangala, Norless Z. & Masumbe, Paul S. “A Narrative of Marikana Tragedy Against Right to Life and Right to Human Dignity Under the South African Constitution.E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 4, no.10 (2023): 1297 – 1306. https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.202341012

© 2023 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Journals. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).