Health minister treats Marikana mourners

2012-08-23 13:31
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Marikana memorial service

More than a thousand Wonderkop residents gathered under a white marquee for the memorial service of the Lonmin mine shootings. See all the pictures.

Rustenburg - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday put on surgical gloves to help treat mourners who collapsed at a memorial service in Marikana, North West.

Paramedics had their hands full as mourners became emotional during the service for 34 miners shot dead during a protest in the area a week ago.

More than a thousand Wonderkop residents and dozens of clergymen and priests gathered in a white marquee at the edge of the informal settlement.

A second marquee was put up alongside the larger one to accommodate an overflow of mourners. Those without a place to sit carried umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun.

Priests took the stage and led the mourners in hymns before leading them along in cries of "hallelujah".

SABC radio news reported that the government abandoned its memorial service to join the community's one.

Attending the service were Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi, North West Premier Thandi Modise, Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khonou, former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and former spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba told mourners that violence would never solve a problem.

"Let us not kill one another... forgive, do not [take] revenge."

It was time for politicians to stop using the tragedy to score political points, he said.

"Our politicians, please... do not score cheap political points through this tragedy. These are God's people."

Mourners could not contain themselves while Makgoba spoke. Some screamed and cried.

In addition to the 34 miners killed on 16 August, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed during protests.

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