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First funerals held for striking South African miners

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First funerals held for striking South African miners
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The first funerals were held on Saturday for the striking miners shot dead by police in South Africa over a week ago.

Thirty-four miners were killed when officers opened fire on workers protesting over pay in Marikana on the 16th of August.

The mining town paid its respects to 24-year-old Papi Ledingoane on Saturday.

Some of his former colleagues acted as pall-bearers at the service, wearing white T-shirts bearing the words “Papi: Rest In Peace.”

They sang songs at they carried his coffin to a nearby graveyard.

Relatives of the dead man could be heard crying loudly.

For some, the emotion was overwhelming. Two people had to be rushed to hospital after collapsing.

Some 3,000 miners went on strike on August 10th demanding a salary hike.

Clashes soon erupted between rival unions and non-strikers, killing ten people.

Police said they were returning fire when they shot at the demonstrators.

Unions say the men were armed only with spears, machetes and clubs.