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'Marikana cleansing ceremony peaceful'

The families of the Marikana victims conducted a cleansing ceremony on Monday.

The families of the Marikana victims conducted a cleansing ceremony on Monday. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A cleansing ceremony to commemorate the miners killed during last year's clashes at Lonmin's Marikana mine was peaceful, North West police confirmed on Monday.

Over 40 people were killed at the mine following an illegal strike in the area on August 16.

Earlier on Monday, thousands gathered at the koppie where cultural rituals were conducted.

Event organiser Archie Babeile said he hoped the ceremony would bring peace to the troubled sector.

"About 40 families were present and each family slaughtered a sheep. They believe that the killings that are continuing around Marikana are due to the fact that nothing was done culturally to cleanse the area."

The police's Babata Mokgwabone said they were satisfied with how union members conducted themselves at the ceremony.

"We are satisfied with everything thus far. The event has finished and no incidents were reported."

Meanwhile, a commission of inquiry is underway to determine what happened on the day in question.

Miners were demanding better salaries when clashes broke out with police.

Authorities maintain they did nothing wrong.