MARIKANA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's president has declared a national week of mourning for all South Africans who have died violently, especially the 44 killed in a week of violence surrounding a strike by miners.
Thirty-four people were gunned down by police on Thursday in one of the worst displays of state violence since apartheid ended in 1994.
President Jacob Zuma says his nation "is in shock and pain" and should use the week to "reflect on the sanctity of human life" and "avoid finger-pointing and recrimination."
Zuma says he will announce details of a judicial commission of inquiry into the killings within a few days. And he is sending 10 Cabinet ministers and a provincial premier to the platinum mine where the violence erupted, to counsel bereaved families and help them identify and bury the dead.
More than 100 people filed past the mine today, singing hymns.
Striking miners have been told they must return to work tomorrow or face being fired.
APPHOTO XDF105: Women from a group of churchgoers wail at the site, Sunday Aug. 19, 2012 at the Lonmin platinum mine, background, near Rustenburg, South Africa, during a memorial service for 34 dead striking miners who were shot and killed by police last Thursday. Miners must return to work Monday or face being fired from the mine where rivalry between unions has exploded into violence. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell) (19 Aug 2012)
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