MPs join hands to remember the mining dead

Time of article published Aug 22, 2012

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Shanti Aboobaker and Gaye Davis

IN a rare – and what proved to be a temporary – show of unity, MPs sang and prayed together at a memorial service yesterday for those who lost their lives at Marikana.

ANC MP Thandile Sunduza warmly embraced DA parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, who sat next to her during the service in a packed Old Assembly Chamber, where religious and African cultural leaders led the prayers.

In a short address, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga urged serious reflection on what had happened in Marikana.

“[We must] unequivocally declare that we should never have to go through this anguish and pain again,” he said.

“It must never be that a workers’ strike action for wages, or a community’s protest action for better services, should take the character of a war that claims the lives of those involved.

“It surely must never be part of our being as a people that the maintenance of law and order should have to end in bloodshed,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker, Nomaindia Mfeketo, said

: “Here in Parliament we will do our bit, beginning with the special sitting this afternoon,” referring to the Marikana debate which took place later in the day.

“But for now our thoughts are with the families of the bereaved.”

A mere two hours later, the political cudgels were taken up again as a robust debate ensued over who was to blame for Thursday’s deaths.

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