A South African court granted bail to six police officers charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the 2012 killing of striking mine workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.
They were the first officers to face charges over what has become known as the “Marikana massacre” in which police opened fire on a group of people to disperse a wildcat strike, resulting in the deaths of 34 striking miners.
The total death toll from the bloodiest security incident in post-apartheid South Africa was 44 with 10 people killed in clashes leading up to the shooting, including two police officers.
The case was investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), a unit within the police service which investigates suspected law-breaking by officers.
IPID did not respond to a telephonic request for comment.
A separate judicial inquiry set up by former South African president Jacob Zuma largely laid the blame on the police for what it called “ill-planned and poorly commanded operations”.
South Africa’s worst police killing since the end of apartheid sparked intense public and media criticism toward police, mining companies, unions, the ruling African National Congress and Zuma himself.