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SA mourns Lonmin victims

Memorial services will be held for victims of the Lonmin shooting in most major cities.

Police open fire at protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Memorial services will be held on Thursday for the victims of the Marikana mine police shooting which happened last week.

Marikana miners issued a warning to police to stay away from the ceremony that will be held at the North West mine.

MARIKANA

Thousands of Lonmin residents are expected to pay their last respects to the 34 workers that were killed during last week’s police shooting.

It is understood a stage will be set up at the scene of the shooting, with religious leaders praying on loud speakers.

The inter-ministerial committee will also be in attendance.

Some families of the victims have already taken the bodies of their loved ones home to prepare for burial.

The miners will meet at the scene of the shooting. 

One miner said they did not want to see any police or armoured vehicles in the area. 

“We want to attend the memorial service, but we do not want to see any police presence,” he said. 

There are other planned memorials services in parts of South Africa. 

Meanwhile, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will hold a separate service where other miners in the North West are expected to join.

JOHANNESBURG

A ceremony will be held in Johannesburg at the city hall, with Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane leading the proceedings at around 1pm.

Other politicians, labour organisations and faith based organisations will also be in attendance. 

CAPE TOWN

On Wednesday, a group of religious leaders held an inter-faith service at St Georges Cathedral.

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is to visit the town on Thursday and said it was a time for reflection.

“It’s a time to ask ourselves if we’re still in the vision that we all covenanted around, that lead  from 1994.”

Makgoba said all South Africans should be questioning the way forward.

“Stop and ask yourself ‘what will be my contribution to making South Africa a better place? How will I, as an individual help not to have another Marikana?’”

(Edited by Zethu Zulu & Tamsin Wort)

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