Key Marikana witness shot dead

2013-05-12 10:00

Another critical witness to last year’s Marikana massacre has been murdered.

City Press has learnt that Steve Khululekile, regional leader of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) in Rustenburg, North West, was yesterday shot dead in a tavern by three unidentified gunmen.

The province’s police spokesperson, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane, confirmed that “a man who is alleged to have been an Amcu regional organiser was shot in a local tavern not too far from (Anglo Platinum’s) Khomanani mine”.

Although Ngubane did not identify the man, City Press has confirmed from two independent sources that Khululekile was the victim.

An eyewitness to the murder said that two men walked into Billy’s Tavern in Photsaneng village near Rustenburg.

“They walked straight to (Khululekile) and shot him. There were a few people inside the tavern, who all ran away as soon as they heard the shots,” said the eyewitness, who asked not to be identified.

Tshepo Mahlangu, spokesperson for the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, said that Khululekile was “very much central” to the strike action at Marikana that left 44 people dead on August 16 last year.

Mahlangu confirmed that Lonmin’s legal team was negotiating with Amcu lawyersto ensure Khululekile testified.

Ngubane said it was “alleged that three men walked into the tavern, one of whom had a 9mm pistol. The man fired four shots, which hit (the victim) in the back. He died on the scene.”

Ngubane said the three unidentified men fled the scene and no arrests had been made.

Earlier this week, Lungani Mabutyana, also subpoenaed to testify at the commission, was found hanging from a tree in Wonderkop, Marikana, in an apparent suicide.

Last month, Alton Joja, identified as a traditional healer who gave muti to striking mine workers, was shot dead in the Eastern Cape. Police had been trying to get him to testify.

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