The 2012 Marikana massacre in South Africa’s North West Province, in which 34 miners were killed by the police, remains an unhealed scar in post democratic South Africa. Two of the most important unresolved issues involve accountability and reparations. Organisations such as Amnesty International have long called on the South African government to ensure that all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the killings are prosecuted. This is about more than justice. It speaks to the heart of the government’s credibility and legitimacy. As academic and political analyst William Gumede has argued, if democratic institutions aren’t responsive and accountable, ordinary people will increasingly look to new ones, including populist groupings. Alternatively, they will seek answers in violence. Accountability for crimes committed by the state is crucial for upholding the rule of law and restoring trust in government. President Cyril Ramaphosa told Parliament in February 2018 that: The Marikana tragedy stands out as the darkest moment in the life of our young democracy And in his maiden state of the nation address he promised a new spirit of accountability on his watch. It’s vital for his credibility that these words be followed by action. Initiating prosecutions would show that he is serious about his intention to strengthen accountability. Ramaphosa has also pledged that government must finalise reparations for the families of striking miners killed by police. Although a settlement of R100 million was recently reached with the families, it can be argued that much more remains to be compensated. The protracted negotiations have left families financially and emotionally frustrated. Marikana: it's time Ramaphosa moved on accountability and reparations Asking the guy that is culpable to an extent to fix it is an issue.