Mr X: Marikana miners were baying for blood

2014-06-30 17:11

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The miners wanted to instigate the police to start a war on August 16 2012, the police’s number one witness, Mr X, told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry today.

“When we passed the Nyala, we hit it with our weapons and we wanted to instigate the police. We went to them to start a fight. We wanted to challenge them,” he said at the inquiry in Centurion.

Mr X testified that on August 16 the miners were asked to put their weapons down by Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa, or else blood would spill.

The miners responded that they would not put down their weapons until the employer had met their demands.

When the miners saw the police unroll the barbed wire, Mambush led the group, which had undergone rituals, towards the police.

“I was in the middle there. Those who had undergone rituals were in the front because there was no way the police could shoot us. We were stronger than the rest of the miners,” he said.

But according to him, the miners did not listen to the instructions of the nyanga and that’s why miners were gunned down.

“There were two miners who had guns. Bhele and Bhayi had guns. They shot the police first. They didn’t follow the instructions of the nyanga, who told us not to shoot first. The police shot and those who fell there were left there. I ran to the shacks,” said Mr X.

He also testified that Mathunjwa first arrived at the koppie on August 14 2012 and not the 15th.

He said that Mathunjwa arrived in the evening and addressed the committee, a handful of miners who were leading the strike.

“He said that he would come back on the 15th with Zokwana [National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president]. Mathunjwa said that he was only interested in membership and that we should not listen to Zokwana when he arrived. Instead, we should kill the NUM. The committee decided that we would not allow Zokwana to address the miners. We would kill him on the koppie,” said Mr X.

He went on to explain that Mathunjwa was not allowed close to the area where the miners had performed their rituals because he had not undergone the rituals.

“He left in a silver van. Amcu didn’t have many members at the time, but he was with a young man who was a member of Amcu,” he testified.

After he left, the miners who had conducted the rituals slept on the koppie.

Earlier on August 14, shop steward Isaiah Twala was killed. Mr X testified that Twala and two other men were called to a meeting by the committee members.

“Xolani searched them and found a cellphone on Twala. He said no one was allowed to carry a cellphone on the koppie. They took his phone ... and also took his gun. Twala was taken behind the koppie by Anele, Mambush and Xolani. I heard a gunshot. I tried to look at what had happened and I saw Anele putting a cow’s skull on Twala’s chest,” said Mr X.

He added that it was the committee that had decided that Twala should be killed because he was an NUM member, he was a spy and he had used his cellphone to send messages to his union.

The commission will resume its testimony tomorrow morning.

The presidency announced today that the commission has until the end of September to complete its work.

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