17 August 2014

South Africa: Marikana Anniversary - a Day of Reflection, Recommitment

The tragic day, which resulted with the death of 34 people in Marikana, should be marked as a day of reflection and recommitment to peace and tolerance in the country, says President Jacob Zuma.

Saturday, August 16, marked the second anniversary of the tragic death of 34 people in Marikana, where ten others died before the tradegy.

"We cannot bring back those who lost their lives, but we must ensure that there is never a repeat of the tragic and painful incidents of August 2012.

"We extend yet again, our deep-felt condolences to all families who lost their loved ones in Marikana," President Zuma said in a statement.

"As government, we have committed ourselves to revitalise distressed mining communities including Marikana, to ensure improved living conditions for communities that contribute immensely to economic development in our country.

"That work will continue in earnest led by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Revitalisation of Mining Communities," President Zuma said on Saturday.

He said nothing will ever take away the pain felt by the loved ones of all those who died in Marikana. The Farlam Commission of Inquiry is still continuing with its work of establishing the facts about what happened.

"We will continue to respect that process and will not apportion blame or pre-empt the findings of the inquiry.

"We need to recommit ourselves to ensuring that violence is never again used to solve problems of any kind in our country. We have the laws, institutions and many instruments to deal with disagreements and find solutions.

"Our progressive labour relations framework in particular, includes mechanisms of solving disputes. These should be utilised to avoid senseless loss of life during labour disputes," he said.

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