South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday declared a week of national mourning in the wake of deadly violence at a platinum mine where police gunned down 34 striking workers.
"The nation is in shock and in pain. We must this week reflect on the sanctity of human life and the right to life as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic," said Zuma three days after the tragedy.
The week's mourning will start on Monday, when flags will fly at half mast at flag stations in South Africa and missions outside the country. Thursday was declared an official day for nationwide memorial services.
The week will commemorate recent victims of violence, with Zuma singling out the carnage at the Marikana mine, where Thursday's bloodshed brought the death toll to 44 after 10 people were killed days earlier.
"We must avoid finger-pointing and recrimination. We must unite against violence from whatever quarter. We must reaffirm our belief in peace, stability and order and in building a caring society free of crime and violence," he said.
Police opened fire with live ammunition after failing to disperse a group of strikers at the mine in the North West province owned by the world's third biggest platinum producer, Lonmin.