Amcu lawyer: Reject Mr X’s evidence

2014-07-21 13:00
Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Evidence of a police witness, known only as Mr X, was false and should be rejected, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

"We will argue that Mr Joseph Mathunjwa's affidavit together with objective evidence established that he could not have been at the koppie (hill) on 14 August 2012," said Heidi Barnes, for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

"Your evidence in this regard is false and must be rejected."

Barnes was cross-examining Mr X at the inquiry's public hearings in Pretoria. The witness, who cannot be identified, is testifying via a video link to protect his identity as he says he fears for his life.

Mathunjwa spoke to workers’ leader - Mr X

Mr X has previously told the inquiry that Mathunjwa visited protesting Marikana miners on the night of 14 August 2012.

He maintained that Mathunjwa spoke to a workers' leader, Xolani Nzuza, on 14 August, 2012, asking for permission to address the miners.

The inquiry's head of evidence leaders, Geoff Budlender, said phone records indicated that Mathunjwa was not at Marikana on 14 August 2012, as Mr X had claimed.

Budlender said an analysis revealed there were no calls between Mathunjwa and Nzuza's phones. Furthermore, Nzuza only received calls from phones in Marikana.

It was also established, through tracing his phone movements, that Mathunjwa was in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Witbank.

Mr X responded: "Mathunjwa may have been using someone's phone. I cannot explain it, he came to the mountain. The only person who had a phone at the koppie was Nzuza."

The "mountain" is the koppie in Marikana where strikers gathered.

44 killed

On Monday, Barnes said at the time of the strike, Mathunjwa did not know Nzuza.

"Mr Mathunjwa says he did not phone Mr Nzuza using his phone or any other phone. He says that he did not even know Mr Nzuza at that time," said Barnes.

Mr X said Mathunjwa knew Nzuza.

The inquiry, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's mining operations at Marikana.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and another 250 arrested on 16 August 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

Read more on:    amcu  |  joseph mathunjwa  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry
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