I doubt that such a massacre was perpetrated even in the worst of South African Apartheid regime, at least they were very rare.
Some 18 miners were massacred by scores of police armed only with live ammunition today in th context of a controversial ("illegal") strike in a platinum mine in Marikana (NW Province, South Africa). This massacre was preceded by other reported incidents in which 8 miners and two police agents died.
Videos of the terrible massacre can be seen at Euronews (link 1, link 2) or at Brisbane News. While reports here and there claim that the miners were outflanking or attacking the police armed with machetes, what can be seen is scores of police agents with lethal weaponry shooting at what ends up being, after smoke dissipates, 18 corpse.
The second Euronews link is probably the clearest video and it seems clear that the miners only maneouver in an apparent desperate attack AFTER police begins shooting at them.
3000 miners walked out in the key platinum mine (producing 12% of all global platinum) after a newly constituted independent union demanded a dramatic salary raise. The strike is opposed by the institutional union COSATU, akin to controversial President Jakob Zuma, which may have incited the first incidents for fear of losing their control of the South African Working Class.
The mine is owned by Lonmin corporation, a Capitalist residue of the British imperial past in the region (founded in 1909 as the London and Rhodesian Mining Company Limited). In spite of all the promises, the wealth of South Africa remains mostly in the hands of the old colonial masters, now with a Black management.
A Black management that seems to have no problem in massacring workers demanding what belongs to them.
Shame on you, Zuma. Shame on you, COSATU. Shame on you ANC. You have become what you once fought against.