MASERU — Three mine workers from Lesotho were killed when police opened fire on striking mine workers in Marikana last week.
The clashes at South Africa’s Lonmin Platinum Mine left 44 dead.
The police killed 34 people after failed attempts to disperse the striking miners.
Ten others who include two police officers were killed by the striking miners before the Thursday clash.
Television footage of the incident showed the police pumping bullets into a crowd of mine workers who were advancing at them with machetes and spears.
The miners are demanding vastly improved wages and vowed not to return to work until their demands are met.
The three Basotho who were killed are from Maseru, Semonkong and Roma, according to TEBA, a mineworkers’ recruitment agency.
Lehlohonolo Tšilo, a senior officer at TEBA, said the mine sent them the sad news on Friday.
“We informed their families on Saturday. It is a great loss for the families and TEBA,” Tšilo said.
He said that two representatives from each family have gone to South Africa to meet with the mine management for necessary arrangements and to attend a memorial service.
“When all the preparations are done the bodies will be transported to Lesotho for funeral arrangements,” he added.
South African president Jacob Zuma declared a week of national mourning in the wake of the deaths that have sparked outrage from South Africans and trade unions.
Some international media are comparing the massacre to the ones that happened under apartheid.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Lebesa Maloi, passed his condolences to the bereaved families in a statement on Sunday.
“We are very sorry for the deaths. This has not just affected the family members but the nation as a whole,” Maloi said.
Maloi said although people have a right to protest they should always negotiate solutions to their disputes.
He urged Basotho who wish to seek work in South Africa to have legal documentation to avoid unnecessary complications.
The South African police have said they opened fire when a group of miners “armed with dangerous weapons” attacked their patrol.
South African Police Commissioner, Victoria Phiyega, said the police acted in self-defence.