Security guard’s flesh made muti stronger, Mr X tells Marikana commission

2014-06-19 17:28

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The flesh of a security guard, killed on August 12 2012 during the violent strike in Marikana, North West, was removed to strengthen the muti that had to protect striking miners from firearms, witness Mr X told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

In his first day on the stand today, Mr X confirmed that he had been part of the group that killed people between August 10 and 14 2012.

Speaking about a meeting convened on either August 5 or 6 2012, he said: “We met at Mooinooi to discuss the RDOs’ [rock drill operators’] underpayment by Lonmin. I work under very harsh conditions under rock. The money was not enough,” he said.

He explained that a day before the strike, he and others were approached by a Mr Boyise who told them that Lonmin was offering between R500 and R750 for the RDOs.

“This was peculiar because Mr Boyise never approached the miners on his own. He was always with the mine representatives and a NUM member,” he said.

But according to Mr X, the miners did not accept the offer, instead they said they would be meeting on August 9. The next day, they decided they would march to the mine management offices where they got no response.

“Bhele [one of the leaders] said that the white man [Lonmin management] was making a fool of us. We were told that our demands would only be addressed in 2013 by NUM. That was not acceptable to the miners. He said there would be no night shift and we would intimidate and threaten those who want to go to work through violence,” he said.

Mr X testified that on August 11, as they went to their meeting area, they saw NUM members using loudhailers to call members to return to work. This allegedly upset many of those who were on strike. It was discussed at the meeting and it was decided that the strikers should arm themselves.

“I went to a shack in Nkaneng and bought a bush knife and an assegai. Then we went to the NUM offices to kill the NUM members,” he said.

He denied that there was any other reason for the strikers to go to the NUM offices but to kill. On their way there, they were shot at by Lonmin security staffers. The strikers scattered and he saw two people lying on the ground, bleeding.

According to Mr X, when the miners regrouped, it was decided that a “tight” nyanga was needed.

“Kaizer [a miner] said he knew of one from Impala number 8. He said he was a strong one. We collected the money and gave it to Xolani and Kaizer to go fetch the nyanga. They returned with the two sons of the nyanga who said it would cost R1 000. I only had R500 and we were told that we needed to find a secluded place to conduct the rituals,” he said.

He also said the nyanga arrived with cloths, bottles, spoons and multicoloured ropes.

Mr X was wearing a black leather jacket and a grey and blue long-sleeved T-shirt. He testified via video link.

As soon as his face was displayed on the screen for the first time, onlookers turned and faced the screen. Murmuring could be heard.

Retired judge Ian Farlam reminded those present that it was prohibited by the commission to make known anything that might reveal the identity of Mr X.

The proceedings began with Dali Mpofu, the legal representative of the injured and arrested miners, stating that the SA Police Service had recently handed over statements of six of his clients. Mpofu argued that these statements would be used to collaborate Mr X’s version of events.

He asked the commission not to use these statements because they were self-incriminatory and “obtained through very graphic torture”.

“We have medical evidence from medical practitioners. But those issues would one day be used in a trial within a trial,” said Mpofu.

Farlam said he would not rule on the objection until Mpofu had handed over the names of the miners, their statements, affidavits stating they were tortured and the medical reports.

Mr X will continue his testimony tomorrow morning.

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