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Zuma cuts SADC visit to attend Lonmin massacre

President Jacob Zuma has decided to cut short foreign affairs commitment from 32nd SADC Summit in Mozambique to deal with Lonmin Marikana mine massacre in Rustenburg which has already claimed more than 30 lives.

The President will visit Rustenburg in the North West province on Friday afternoon.

“The President asked the new SADC chairperson President Guebuza of Mozambique to excuse him so that he can go and attend to the matters at home”, Presidential Spokesman Mac Maharaj announced on Friday morning.

A dispute at the Lonmin Marikana mine in Rustenburg has claimed several lives since last week, culminating in the tragic shooting of armed protesting strikers on Thursday.

“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”, Maharaj said.

On Thursday President Jacob Zuma expressed alarmed and saddens at the manner in which a dispute at the industrial level at the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg has degenerated in a manner that led to tragic loss of lives of so many people.

“We are shocked and dismayed at this senseless violence. We believe there is enough space in our democratic order for any dispute to be resolved through dialogue without any breaches of the law or violence.

“We call upon the labour movement and business to work with government to arrest the situation before it deteriorates any further. I have instructed law enforcement agencies to do everything possible to bring the situation under control and to bring the perpetrators of violence to book.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives since the beginning of this violent action,” said President Zuma said in a statement.