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Presidency condemns 'all Marikana deaths'

Jacob Zuma suggested police were forced to shoot miners because they had killed other people yesterday.

A cross erected on the Koppie after the massacre as a symbol of the lives lost in Marikana. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency says while the media has reported President Jacob Zuma's comments about Marikana yesterday as condoning the death of the miners, he actually condemns all the deaths that occurred in Marikana in 2012 as they're all equally unacceptable.

Yesterday Zuma appeared to suggest that police had been right to shoot 34 miners dead - because they had killed two other people.

In August 2012, 34 miners were gunned down by the police at Lonmin's Marikana mine during a labour protest.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading up to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

An inquiry was established by President Jacob Zuma to investigate if the police were justified in using lethal force.

The inquiry sat for 293 days and heard testimonies from 50 witnesses about the violence that broke out at the North West platinum mine.

On Tuesday, Zuma appeared to suggest the police had been forced to shoot miners because they had killed other people.

Zuma was speaking to students in Pretoria when a heckler said police had killed people at Marikana, the president then gave this immediate response.

"Those people in Marikana had killed people and the police were stopping them from killing people."

The president is due to release his report on the Marikana shooting at the end of this month.

The government says those remarks do not condone the deaths of the 34 miners and that Zuma says all the deaths should be equally condemned without being selective.

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