SA prepares memorials for mine deaths

2012-08-22 12:46
Striking Lonmin miners on a hill near the Marikana mine during a protest action. (Booysen Thamaga, Sapa)

Striking Lonmin miners on a hill near the Marikana mine during a protest action. (Booysen Thamaga, Sapa)

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Rustenburg - South Africa on Wednesday readied for nationwide memorials to honour the 44 people killed during an illegal strike at the Lonmin platinum mine, most of them shot by police.

Ceremonies were planned for Thursday in Marikana, where police gunned down 34 miners in a clash a week ago, said Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane.

"We are looking at the memorial service at Marikana... there is a decision that there should be a memorial service," said Chabane in an interview.

A memorial would also be held in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, home to many of the miners.

"We remember that most of the people come from rural areas and therefore Eastern Cape is preparing for one," said Chabane.

"Ceremonies are going to be held everywhere in the country," he added.

No mass burials were planned, as families from across South Africa picked up the bodies of their loved ones for burials at home.

One of the dead was a Lesotho national.

Flags have been flying at half-mast since Monday as the nation mourns the deaths.

"We don't want these memorial services to be politicised. We want these memorial services to be free of politics, to be free of rhetoric. Then people can focus on the mourning," said Chabane.
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  mahikeng  |  mining  |  mining unrest

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