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Marikana anniversary a day of reflection - Zuma

2014-08-16 12:09

Johannesburg - The anniversary of the Marikana shooting should be a day of reflection and recommitment to peace and tolerance in the country, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

"We cannot bring back those who lost their lives, but we must ensure that there is never a repeat of the tragic and painful incidents of August 2012," he said in a statement.

"We need to recommit ourselves to ensuring that violence is never again used to solve problems of any kind in our country."

He said the country had laws and institutions which dealt with disagreements and found solutions.

These should be utilised to avoid the senseless loss of life during labour disputes.

Commemoration rally

Forty-four people were killed during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on 16 August 2012.

Saturday is the two year anniversary of the shooting.

A commemoration rally for the shooting was being held in Wonderkop near Marikana. Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane were expected to speak at the rally.

Mining communities

It could not be confirmed on Friday whether any government officials would be attending the event.

Last year, government was absent from the one-year commemoration.

Zuma on Saturday said government had committed itself to revitalising distressed mining communities, which included those in Marikana.

"Nothing will ever take away the pain felt by the loved ones of all those who died in Marikana.

"We extend yet again, our deep-felt condolences to all families who lost their loved ones in Marikana," he said.

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