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Lonmin: mom dies after son shot

Marikana, North West - The mother of a Lonmin miner killed in a clash with police died shortly after hearing of her son's death, the family said on Monday.

Phumzile Sokanyile was one of 34 workers killed when police opened fire on protesters at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West, on Thursday.

He was related to Ngqeleni municipality mayor Thokozile Sokanyile, who spoke on behalf of the family.

“We received the news of his death on Friday, and at 7pm his mother asked if she could see the news. She said she wanted to see how her son had died,” the mayor said.

“She died at her home several hours later.”

The family was planning a joint funeral for mother and son, in the Mdumazulu village in Nqeleni, in the Eastern Cape, next weekend.

“The family is still trying to come to terms with this tragedy. Phumzile took care of his wife and five kids. Now their breadwinner is gone,” Sokanyile said.

The family would wait until the burials were over before deciding whether to take action against Lonmin.

“We are still crying and mourning,” Sokanyile said.

The company had said it would help with the burials of those killed. It also undertook to fund the education of the children whose fathers were killed.

Cyril Ramaphosa's investment holding company, Shanduka, pledged R2 million towards the funerals.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher pay. - Sapa

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