Amcu witness threatened

2012-11-06 22:15
(City Press)

(City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

  • Police
    A 'behind the scenes' look at how the emergency services work. Now R310.00
    buy now

Rustenburg - A witness affiliated to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was threatened, a union lawyer said at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday.

Heidi Barnes told the commission she wanted it put on record that Jimmy Gamma, treasurer of Amcu, was threatened on Monday.

"Three men wearing balaclavas threatened Mr Gamma's child and said they would come back for his father that night," she said.

Retired judge Ian Farlam, who chairs the commission, asked if she knew who might be behind the intimidation, but Barnes said this was not known.

Farlam said: "This sounds like a very clear case of intimidation".

He said the matter was very serious.

The commission is holding public hearings in Rustenburg, North West, as part of its inquiry into a shooting by the police in Marikana that left 34 Lonmin miners dead and 78 wounded.

Ten people, among them two security guards and two policemen, died the week before the shooting and two people died afterwards.

Tuesday's afternoon session of the hearings saw a discussion on which parties would be called next.

Evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga said he was opposed to the SA Police Service calling its witnesses first, as documents requested from Saps had not all been handed over.

"If Saps were to start with their case now, we will not be in a position to meet that presentation," he said.

Barnes and Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, were opposed to this.


Mpofu said he did not want to call his witnesses prematurely and out of the order of the narrative he intended to present.

He suggested that the police witnesses be called in the meantime as they were prepared.

Madlanga said he would engage with the other parties in an attempt to reach an agreement.

Mpofu agreed to try to reach a compromise.

Responding to concerns that other witnesses might be intimidated, Farlam said the same witness protection principles which applied to the criminal justice system applied to the commission.

Earlier, the police began making its presentation on events leading up to the fatal shooting of 34 protesters on 16 August.

Colonel Victor Visser started the presentation which gave a detailed timeline of events beginning from Friday 10 August.

Visser said he had not been present at the events around Lonmin's Marikana mine.

The presentation's introduction explained that the police's normal role had been extended during this time to include negotiation.

"Police are part of the community... The police are affected in the same way as anyone else," Visser said.


The presentation contextualised events by drawing attention to conflict between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Amcu.

The commission was shown photographs of the security guards' bodies.

One showed one of the guards had his tongue cut out. The legs of the other guard were visible in the charred remains of a security vehicle torched by the protesters.

Another photograph showed a group of marchers fleeing with a shotgun stolen from the security guards.

In the morning session, parties made submissions on which elements the commission should deal with in the first phase of the inquiry.

On Monday, Ishmael Semenya raised objections to the initial phase focusing on the conduct of the Saps, which he represents, on 16 August.

He argued that this approach would not sufficiently contextualise the events of that day and that the conduct of the unions, Lonmin and other protesters needed to be taken into account.

Nicole Lewis, for the families of those killed, contended that the approach was justified because the "Saps was the only party which was the physical cause" of the deaths on 16 August.

By the end of proceedings on Tuesday, Semenya and the parties agreed that the Saps' conduct be examined in the first phase.

The hearings will resume on Thursday.



Read more on:    police  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  unrest  |  mining

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.