Pretoria: Government will continue to maintain a presence in Marikana until all families have been provided with the necessary support and assistance required, said the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC).
The committee on Thursday attended the memorial service in support of the bereaved families and workers following the loss of lives in clashes last week.
“The memorial service started out peacefully until it unfortunately degenerated into a party political platform. The event lost its purpose and desecrated the memory of the departed who were supposed to be remembered in dignity,” said the IMC.
Faith-based leaders were amongst those who came to show their support for the families of the deceased.
The service was held under a white marquee a short distance from the koppie where miners had gathered before the shooting at Lonmin Platinum mine in Marikana last Thursday.
Thirty-four people were killed and 78 others sustained injuries in clashes with police last week at Marikana. Prior to this, 10 other people — including two police officers — were killed.
The presence of the committee adequately demonstrated government’s empathy and commitment to assist the bereaved families. After the memorial service, the committee visited the bereaved families in Marikana to pay their respects.
“Government continues to call on all involved not to use the plight of those who lost their loved ones for petty political gains. This is a trying time for the bereaved families and the country. We urge all parties to play a constructive role and support the nation in the process of healing,” said the IMC.
The IMC, which is led by the Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane, includes North West Premier Thandi Modise and the Ministers of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu; Police, Nathi Mthethwa, Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Richard Baloyi; Labour, Mildred Oliphant; Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Health, Aaron Motsoaledi; State Security, Siyabonga Cwele; Home Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Executive Mayor Mpho Khunou.
The Marikana memorial was one of several which took place around the country on Thursday.
From Monday until Sunday, all the flags in the country and in missions outside the country will fly at half-mast in recognition of the period of mourning declared by President Jacob Zuma.