Marikana witness ‘lied to commission’

2013-02-28 17:32

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Evidence led before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry suggests that a witness had lied about his participation in protests during strike action by mine workers that led to the deaths of 34 people on August 16.

Mzoxolo Magidiwana testified yesterday that he had only joined the group of protesting mine workers on the morning of August 16, before police opened fire and killed 34 mine workers.

However, during cross-examination by police lawyer Vuyani Ngalwana, he was shown footage in which he was present among a group of armed protesters on August 15.

The images were frozen on screen and Magidiwana was asked to identify himself. He is seen wearing a green sweater and a red blanket which he was wearing on the day he was shot.

He, however, told the commission that he was not certain if the person in the footage was indeed himself.

“Do you have an identical twin?” the commission’s chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, asked Magidiwana.

He said he had a relative who looks like him who also works in the Rustenburg area and lives in Nkaneng informal settlement.

“Mr Magidiwana, it is clear that it is indeed you and any denial by you that it is you is an untruth,” Ngalwana argued.

But Magidiwana persisted, saying he could not see the images clearly.

“We have determined that you don’t have an identical twin and your brother doesn’t have the same T-shirt as you and that can only be you,” Ngalwana said.

Magidiwana’s denials sparked animated discussion among people in the gallery.

Ngalwana argued that Magidiwana had been to the koppie where the striking workers gathered prior to August 16. Ngalwana said the picture Magidiwana was being shown was from a video shot on August 15.

“So it will be your word against objective evidence,” Ngalwana argued when Magidiwana denied that he was indeed the person in the picture.

Ngalwana had earlier told the commission he was going to argue that Magidiwana was an unreliable witness when he refused to answer certain questions put to him during cross-examination.

Magidiwana has also made sensational allegations, claiming that he was shot by police at point blank range as he lay injured among his colleagues who had been shot with automatic gunfire.

The hearing continues tomorrow.

- City Press

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