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Mon Nov 24 23:33:58 CAT 2014

Zuma cuts SADC visit short to go to Marikana

Sapa | 17 August, 2012 11:47
Police keep watch as striking Lonmin miners gather on the hill top. File photo
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma will leave Mozambique, where he is attending a SADC summit, to visit Rustenburg, where more than 30 people were shot dead by the police.

"Zuma is to cut short his attendance of the 32nd SADC Summit in Maputo, Mozambique in order to visit Rustenburg this afternoon," spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"The President is concerned about the violent nature of the protest, especially given that the Constitution and labour laws allow enough avenues to deal with issues, and is sympathetic to calls for a commission of inquiry."

The people who died were among a group of protesters from Lonmin's Marikana mine, who went on strike last Friday.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa will also visit Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Spokesman Zweli Mnisi said Mthethwa had cut short a visit to Musina, where he was to have met community members, to visit the scene of the shooting.

Mnisi said the final death toll had yet to be confirmed, but that "over 30" people were believed to have been killed. The National Union of Mineworkers said 36 people had died.

Another 10 people -- including two police officers, two security guards and three NUM shop stewards -- have been killed in separate incidents since the start of an illegal strike last Friday.

The protests are believed to be related to union rivalry and demands for higher wages.

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