Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko


When people ask if I enjoy my job, I usually tell them: “Who wouldn’t — I always have a different view from my mobile office each day.”

But the view I had on August 16 of the deadliest South African police security operation since apartheid ended will be difficult, if not impossible, to erase from my mind.

I’d been sent to cover a tense stand-off between police and striking platinum miners at a dusty mine northwest of Johannesburg. Little did I know that I would witness a police operation that led to 34 miners shot dead and more than 70 injured.

The police announced over a loud speaker that photographers on the hill should leave. I sensed there was trouble brewing.

Reuters photographer Siphiwe Sibeko: “Witness to the Lonmin shootings