Remember Marikana with dignity - church

2013-08-16 07:28
A police vehicle takes position as miners stage a sit-in close to the Marikana mine in 2012. (AFP)

A police vehicle takes position as miners stage a sit-in close to the Marikana mine in 2012. (AFP)

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Families of slain miners head to Marikana

2013-08-15 08:18

Families of the miners killed by police in Marikana last August have left their homes in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. They're heading to the North West to attend Friday's memorial service. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - Events to commemorate the anniversary of the violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine, in which 44 people were killed, should be handled with dignity, the Methodist Church in South Africa said on Thursday.

"We pray that the first commemoration of the Marikana tragedy... will be a solemn occasion devoid of political overtones," Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa said.

"[We pray] that both the mining authorities and government will do everything within their power to ensure that the commemorative events are treated with the dignity they deserve."

Friday marks the first anniversary of the shooting at Lonmin's Marikana mine, near Rustenburg in the North West, when 34 striking mineworkers were killed as police fired on them while trying to disperse and disarm them.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence the preceding week.

Prayers

Siwa called on South Africans to pray for the families who lost loved ones in the Marikana violence.

"To sympathise verbally is not enough. Our actions should include supporting the call for funding their legal representation at the Farlam Commission."

On Friday, the Constitutional Court is expected to rule whether the State should pay the legal costs for the miners arrested and injured at Marikana.

In June Dali Mpofu, for the miners, told the commission that due to financial constraints his team could be forced to withdraw from the inquiry.

He previously brought an urgent court application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria several weeks ago seeking funding, but this was dismissed.

The commission has been postponed several times while solutions to the funding problems were sought.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  methodist church  |  mahikeng  |  marikana anniversary
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