20 August 2012
President Jacob Zuma has appointed an inter-ministerial committee on the Marikana tragedy, to be led by Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane.
The committee will coordinate and lead all support for the families and relatives of those killed during last week’s violence in Marikana, the Presidency said on Monday. This will include the identification of family members, counselling and burials.
The committee was expected to hold its first meeting and visit to Marikana on Monday.
Forty-four people, including two police officers and 34 mine workers, were killed and scores injured in violent clashes in the mining town of Marikana outside Rustenburg, North West province last week.
Zuma has declared this week a period of mourning for those killed. From Monday to Sunday, flags will fly at half-mast at all flag stations in South Africa and missions outside the country. On Thursday, memorial services will be held across the country to mourn and promote a violence-free society.
Zuma has also called on faith-based organisations to work with the government to assist the affected families.
The inter-ministerial committee will include North West Premier Thandi Modise and a raft of Cabinet ministers: Susan Shabangu (mineral resources), Nathi Mthethwa (police), Bathabile Dlamini (social development), Richard Baloyi (cooperative governance and traditional affairs), Mildred Oliphant (labour), Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (defence and military veterans), Aaron Motsoaledi (health), Siyabonga Cwele (state security) and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (home affairs).
Lonmin to pay for children’s education
Meanwhile, mining company Lonmin has committed to providing funding for the education of the children of all employees who lost their lives during last week’s tragedy.
“This funding will cover education costs from primary school to university,” the company announced on Friday.
Lonmin chief financial officer Simon Scott express the company’s “sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those employees who have lost their lives, not only in the events of Thursday but also in the days leading up to it, and of course to the families and colleagues of the two South African Police Service officers who died trying to protect others.
“We are committed to supporting all the families that lost loved ones during this tragic week,” Scott said in a statement.
“We have established a help desk at Lonmin’s Andrew Saffy Hospital which will help families with the identification of bodies, assist with all the burial arrangements and offer bereavement counseling.”