Modise remembers Marikana
Johannesburg - North West Premier Thandi Modise remembered the Marikana tragedy in her Christmas message on Monday.
"We wish to convey our gratitude to church leaders under the auspices of the South African Council of Churches and traditional leaders for playing a significant role in facilitating mediation and supporting the negotiation process that ended in wage settlements and normalising of relations in the mining sector," she said.
The police shot dead 34 mineworkers on 16 August after they clashed during a wildcat strike at Lonmin Mine in Marikana.
"The challenges we faced in the past year not only served to make us acutely aware of the urgency with which we need to address unemployment, poverty and inequality but have strengthened our resolve to seek lasting solutions to the challenges facing us."
Modise said though there were still problems in some areas, strides had been made.
"We wish to thank those who supported our effort to intensify the fight against poverty, joblessness, homelessness, illiteracy, crime, greed and corruption and for believing that clean governance is achievable," she said.
"As we celebrate Christmas and recharge for the tasks that still lie ahead of us in the new year, we call on all of our people to remember that this season of peace, goodwill and sharing also presents us with an opportunity to expand our giving encompassing the lonely and needy. We should celebrate it by giving the light of hope and love to those who need them most, our orphans, widows and our elderly."
Modise also urged the province to pray for former president Nelson Mandela.
"As we celebrate, let us remember in our prayers the father of our nation, former president Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela and those in hospital."
Mandela was said to be responding well to treatment as his stay in a Pretoria hospital extended into its third week.
He was originally flown to a hospital in Pretoria from his Eastern Cape home at Qunu on 8 December. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also underwent gallstone surgery.
Mandela has a history of lung problems having suffered from tuberculosis towards the end of the 27 years he spent in prison. His current stay in hospital is his longest since he was freed over two decades ago.
Zuma paid a visit to Mandela on Saturday and again urged the nation to keep praying for the global icon. The presidency said Mandela would be spending Christmas Day in hospital.