N West gov not attending Marikana rally

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Johannesburg - North West government officials were not attending the Marikana commemoration rally on Saturday held in honour of 44 people killed in strike-related unrest two years ago.

Premier Supra Mahumapelo's spokesman Sam Mokaila said the provincial government had not received an invite to the event.

“Had we received an invite, we would have attended it,” he said.

Earlier, Mahumapelo said the province honoured the spirits of the people who were killed during the violence at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in August 2012.

“(We) wish all bereaved families comfort as they are once more reminded of this fateful day,” he said in a statement.

“We pay our respects to the women of Marikana and all areas who continue to carry the burden of raising and supporting their households without the support of their departed partners.”

Saturday marked two years since the police opened fire on striking mineworkers, killing 34 of them.

Ten other people, including two police officers and two security were killed in strike-related violence in the preceding week.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane and leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema were among who were expected to address the crowd.

President Jacob Zuma said this was a day of reflection.

“We need to recommit ourselves to ensuring that violence is never again used to solve problems of any kind in our country,” he said in a statement.

It could not be confirmed whether any national government officials would be attending the event. Last year, government was absent from the one-year commemoration. - Sapa

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