Memorial service to be held at Marikana
21 August 2012
A memorial service for the mine workers killed in clashes with the police at Marikana in North West province last week will take place on Thursday, at the same place where the tragedy took place.
Thirty-four people were killed and 78 others sustained injuries in clashes with the police at the mining town of Marikana outside Rustenburg last Thursday. Prior to this, 10 other people - including two police officers - were killed in nearly a week of fighting between rival worker factions.
Addressing the media, traditional leaders and church representatives in Rustenburg on Tuesday, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi said it was decided that the memorial service would be held at the scene of the tragedy.
"We felt the memorial service should be held there as part of cleansing the place," Baloyi said. "The tragedy that happened is not easy for the people of Marikana and the country as a whole."
Baloyi appealed to all sectors of society to join hands with the government in helping and comforting the families of the deceased. "Let's work together in this difficult time; we all need to be there for one another."
So far, 28 bodies have been identified and six others are yet to be identified.
On Monday, the inter-ministerial committee appointed by President Jacob Zuma visited Phokeng mortuary, and pledged that the government would assist the communities affected by the Marikana tragedy by helping to identify the remaining six deceased persons.
The committee, which is currently based in Rustenburg, will coordinate and lead all support efforts to families and relatives, including counselling and burials, the Presidency said.
With regard to deceased foreigners, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said on Monday that her department would do everything in its power to help the families with documentation.
"We had discussions with them and we have agreed to help them," she said.
The committee was expected to meet with Lonmin management and the workers again later on Tuesday.
State Pathology is currently working with the provincial authorities in finalising post-mortem processes, and a contingency of health personnel - comprising military, municipal, provincial, and national personnel - have been mobilised to provide any emergency services required during this period and beyond.
Other services that will be provided to the Marikana community include psycho-social support to members of the bereaved families and the injured through a dedicated team of social workers, who will be stationed in the area while providing alternative care for orphaned children.