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Zuma declares week of national mourning

South Africa will start mourning for the victims of the Lonmin’s Marikana shooting on Monday.

Pastor Sakhumuzi Qiqimana leads a prayer session at the scene of police shootings at Lonmin's Marikana mine on 19 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MARIKANA - As President Jacob Zuma declares a week of mourning, religious leaders in Marikana have called on unions and the workers, who embarked on an illegal strike to reconcile.

At least 34 people were shot dead and 78 others wounded in clashes between police and strikers on Thursday. In total 44 people have died during the unrest.

Zuma says starting on Monday flags will fly at half mast throughout the country. Thursday is the official day for nationwide memorial services.

On Sunday, a group of worshipers held a prayer meeting at the scene of the tragedy.

Residents say they are still reeling from the shock of losing dozens of their community members.

They joined religious leaders at the foot of a hill, where the miners died, and prayed for peace to remain to the mining area.

Pastor Sakhumzi Qiqima called for forgiveness amongst all parties involved.

“All the parties involved need to admit they were wrong and ask God for forgiveness. They also need to ask for forgiveness from each other.”

He also said the incident has tainted the area and hopes it will be cleansed by their prayers.

Qiqima says workers and mine management should hold talks to ensure the incident does not repeat itself.

Meanwhile, the company has issues a final ultimate to workers. The company wants the miners to return to work on Monday or risk being sacked.

The National Union of Metalworkers (Num) has called on all workers to heed the call and got to work.
 
(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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