'Govt will support bereaved Lonmin families'

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi tells bereaved families in Marikana that government will support them.

Family members mourn at a memorial service for the Marikana miners who were killed in a shootout with police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Saturday reassured the families of those who lost breadwinners in the deadly shooting at Lonmin's Marikana mine that government will support them.

Motsoaledi said social workers from the Department of Social Services were already assessing the needs of the bereaved families.

Together with Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, Motsoaledi attended the funeral service of 24-year-old Papi Ledingoane who was shot dead during clashes between the police and protesting miners over a week ago.

"We asked the families to give us a list of all their needs. We got packages for all the families that are affected," Motsoaledi said.

He said two other funerals were held in the Eastern Cape for victims of the tragedy.

Last week Thursday, police opened fire at the striking workers, shooting dead 34 miners and injuring 78 others.

Thousands of rock drill operators had downed tools over wage demands from Lonmin, but violence ensued leaving a total of 44 people dead, including two police officers.

President Jacob Zuma established an inter-ministerial committee as led by Chabane to probe the incident and to take care of the needs of the families of the victims.

Meanwhile, the workers that worked with Ledingoane said their colleague's death was not in vain.

Some miners refuse to return to work and said they would do so when they receive the R12,500 they are demanding from Lonmin.