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Shabangu set to dispel investor concerns

Following Marikana killings, the Ministry of Mineral Resources aims to dispel concerns from investors.

A man walks past a dead protester at Lonmin's Marikana mine on 14 August, 2012. Around 3000 drill operators down tools during a illegal strike. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

PARKTOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on Saturday said efforts were underway to investigate Thursday’s deadly Marikana shooting and dispel concerns from international investors. 

Shabangu was addressing stakeholders in the mining industry in Parktown, Johannesburg.

At least 44 people have been killed in violent clashes that have swept Marikana township since last week Friday.

Those include the 34 protesters killed when police and striking workers clashed on Thursday.

Almost 80 others were injured in the row that has left police and Marikana residents blaming each other over who fired shots first.

South Africa’s platinum mining industry has been battling financially for months.

Shabangu said her main focus was to urgently stabalise the situation at the Western Platinum mine.

The minister said she also planned to travel oversees to allay fears stemming from the bloodshed at the mining town.

The minister on Saturday met with officials from Lonmin mine, the Chamber of Mines South Africa and mining unions to discuss a way forward following the shooting.

Shabangu’s address follows President Jacob Zuma’s announcement to establish a commission to probe the Marikana massacre.

The president cut short a trip to a Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit in Mozambique on Friday, to visit the mourning mining town.

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, the commission of inquiry to be appointed by Zuma will be a judicial one.

A judicial inquiry will allow the board of the inquiry to subpoena evidence and witnesses. 

Its findings could also be used to open criminal cases and prosecute offenders.

The paper claims it received its information from officials within the Presidency.

Expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema also visited the scene of the shootout on Saturday afternoon.

He arrived to a heroes welcome and listened to protestors tell their accounts of Thursday’s events.

Malema encouraged protesters to continue striking until their demands for salary increases and better employment conditions were heard.

About 3, 000 rock drill operators downed tools last week Friday. They are demanding a monthly salary of R12, 500 for their labour.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)

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