Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma has expressed his gratitude to South Africans for observing with dignity and respect, the week of mourning for the 44 people who died in Marikana and others who died violently.
Zuma declared a week of mourning last week and flags have been flown at half-mast at all stations inside the country and at missions outside the country.
“The people of South Africa have given us strength in the manner in which they responded with dignity, calm and fortitude in the midst of pain, shock and disappointment at the tragic events in Marikana. The killing of 10 people between the 10th and the 12th of August, and 34 people on the 16th of August, coupled with other violent murders around the country, have caused enormous sorrow to all of us,” he said.
The tragedies should unite South Africans in a resolve to end violence of all forms in society, including in protests and labour action, the President added.
“Our Constitution allows us to protest against anyone or any institution, but we must do so unarmed and peacefully,” Zuma said.
He also thanked South Africans for respecting government’s call not to apportion blame or point fingers over the Mairkana incident as the facts about what unfolded is yet to be established by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana Tragedy.
“Our people have respected our call. Apportioning blame without facts can only serve to worsen the situation,” he stressed.
The President urged all affected parties to cooperate with the Farlam Commission.
In addition, Zuma thanked traditional and religious leaders for their role in helping calm the volatile situation in Marikana and for their ongoing support to all affected families.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Ministerial Committee, led by Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, will continue with its efforts to assist the families of all the 44 people who died until all burials have taken place.