Nathi Mthethwa

Emmanuel Nkosinathi "Nathi" Mthethwa (born 23 January 1967) is a South African politician who has served as Minister of Arts and Culture since February 2014. He was appointed again in 2019 for his second term, taking also the portfolio of Sport under his wings. He also previously served as Minister for Safety and Security (later known as Minister of Police) from 2008 to 2014 and as the Chief Whip for the African National Congress in the National Assembly.[1][2] He is from Kwambonambi, KwaZulu-Natal.

Nkosinathi Mthethwa

Nkosinathi Mthethwa (43752407695).jpg
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture
Assumed office
30 May 2019
PresidentCyril Ramaphosa
Preceded byPaul Mashatile
Minister of Police
In office
10 May 2009 – 25 May 2014
PresidentJacob Zuma
Cyril Ramaphosa
Succeeded byNkosinathi Nhleko
Minister for Safety and Security
In office
25 September 2008 – 10 May 2009
PresidentKgalema Motlanthe
Preceded byCharles Nqakula
Succeeded bypost renamed
Personal details
Born (1967-01-23) 23 January 1967 (age 53)
Political partyAfrican National Congress

Marikana mineworkers' strikeEdit

Mthethwa was South Africa's Minister of Police at the time of the August 2012 Marikana Massacre, the most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since 1976.[3] The Marikana Commission of Inquiry[4] lead by judge Ian Farlam mentioned Mthethwa's role in the incident several times.

Mthethwa told the Commission in 2014: "What I know is that as the political head at the time, I’d have been responsible for all the things the police were doing".[5]

In its official report, the Commission noted that while Mthethwa's counsel had submitted that he could not "be held liable for the tragic loss of lives at Marikana", the counsel representing some 270 injured or arrested mineworkers had "submitted that the Commission should recommend to the National Director of Public Prosecutions that he should consider prosecuting Minister Mthethwa for the murder of the 34 strikers who were killed on 16 August at Marikana."[6] The Commission did not disagree with the recommendations counsel for the Injured and Arrested Persons as it had with the Counsel's recommendations regarding then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and others, however, it also did not endorse these recommendations.

Mthethwa was not among nine people charged in connection with Marikana in 2018.[7] Farlam himself has since bemoaned the lack of prosecutions, saying: "it was said at the time that we'd exonerated everyone including the minister of police. That wasn't true. We found that the evidence was very inconclusive, we couldn't make a definite finding against the minister of police."[8]

The Commission did find that, in a speech given to members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 17 August 2012, Mthethwa gave "what would have been understood to be an unqualified endorsement of the police action" at Marikana. This speech, the Commission found, was "calculated to bring about a closing of the ranks and to discourage any SAPS member who was minded to tell the Commission that things had not gone as well as they must have hoped they would."[6]


  1. ^ "Nathi Mthethwa". People's Assembly. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Emmanuel Nkosinathi "Nathi" Mthethwa". South African Government. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  3. ^ "South African police open fire as striking miners charge, killing and wounding workers". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 16 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  4. ^ "About the Commission". The Marikana Commission of Inquiry page, Department of Justice website. Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Nathi Mthethwa takes responsibility for Marikana". The Mail & Guardian. 14 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Marikana Commission of Inquiry: Report on Matters of Public, National and International Concern Arising Out of the Tragic Incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana, in the North West Province" (PDF). The Marikana Commission of Inquiry page, Department of Justice website. Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Marikana: Top cops face murder rap". The Mail & Guardian. 16 March 2018. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Farlam: Inquiry can't be blamed for lack of prosecutions over Marikana tragedy". Eyewitness News. Eyewitness News (EWN). 16 August 2019. Archived from the original on 16 August 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2020.

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