The Office of the ANC Chief Whip joins all South Africans in mourning the deaths of 44 people who were tragically killed during the violent protests at the Marikana Lonmin mine recently. It is indeed deeply saddening that people should lose their lives in such a gruesome manner.
We welcome President Jacob Zuma’s establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, which will thoroughly investigate and determine the cause and circumstances of all the deaths including those of police, security and the miners.
We are heartened by the appointment of a high-level ministerial committee which will visit the affected area today to help families of the victims with funeral arrangements including transport identification of bodies and counseling services for all those who are affected.
We also commend the President’s decision to declare a week of mourning starting today and the flying of our national flags at half mast.
The ANC Chief Whip in Parliament, Dr Mathole Motshekga, has invited all chief whips of political parties represented in parliament to an urgent multiparty chief whips forum on Tuesday, 21 August 2012, to discuss Parliament’s reaction to this tragedy.
Members of parliament from all political parties, together with leaders from various churches, are expected to hold a memorial service in Parliament’s Old Assembly Chamber tomorrow at 12h00 in honour of the victims of the violent protests.
The National Assembly is also expected to hold a special sitting at 14h00 on Tuesday to reflect on this national tragedy.