Govt. to deal with Lonmin shooting

President Jacob Zuma visits injured mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Friday evening, 17 August 2012. Picture: GCIS.
A prayer service was held at the scene of the Marikana tragedy, to cleanse the scene. Taurai Maduna reports.
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JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma on Sunday announced plans to deal with the situation at Lonmin's Marikana Mine in the North West, following the death of 44 people. 

Last Thursday, 34 people were killed and 78 others injured when police opened fire on striking workers.

When clashes initially erupted two weeks ago, 10 people inclusing two police officers and two security guards were killed.

Zuma, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and police commissioner Riah Phiyega visited the mine over the weekend.

The president has since appointed an inter-ministerial committee which will be led by Performance Monitoring Minister Collins Chabane. 

Chabane’s spokesperson Harold Maloka said the committee’s task is to take care of the families affected by the shooting. 

“It will also assist families to make sure they receive counseling and all the burials are done properly.” 

Zuma is also expected to announce a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the cause of the shooting. 

On Sunday, the president declared a week of mourning, with flags expected to fly at half mast throughout the country. 

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on Monday said the grievances raised by workers at Lonmin's Marikana Mine could not be ignored. 

Shabangu said such violence would not be tolerated.

“Strikes in South Africa are regulated. These were spontaneous. What we don’t agree with are illegal strikes which come with violence and lead to loss of lives."

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)