SA to honour 62 killed in mob rage

2008-06-12 00:00

Cape Town —The government is expected to announce a national day of healing so that South Africa can pay its respects to all the people who have died in the recent spate of xenophobic violence.

Cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko said yesterday the national day will not be a public holiday. “It will be a national day, during which people, as they go to work, will be asked to show some kind of concern for what has happened in the country,” Maseko said.

He stressed that the government retains its “very firm” view that the victims of the violence will not receive any compensation. “All government’s efforts will be on shelters with all the necessary equipment and relief efforts. The next focus will be on reintegration” after two months in temporary shelters.

Maseko said that, according to the inter-ministerial task team’s report, a total of 62 people have been killed, of whom 21 were South Africans. The majority of the deaths (53) were in Gauteng.

Eleven of the dead were from Mozambique, five from Zimbabwe and three from Somalia, while 21 or 22 bodies are still unidentified.

Maseko said that, so far, in Gauteng, about 6 164 of the displaced people have been moved from police stations to temporary shelters and at least 13 000 of the 20 000 who were displaced in the Western Cape have been placed in shelters.

The government will continue to work with international agencies and SA NGOs to ensure that the shelters comply with minimum international standards.

Maseko said the services provided at the shelters include tents, showers, toilets, food, water, health facilities, blankets and, in some cases, clothing.

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