Car jammed as miners attacked us - Lonmin guards

2014-07-23 22:29
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - The car of two Lonmin mine security guards would not start during an attack from armed, protesting mineworkers, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"I told my colleague, Martin Foster to move back into the vehicle so that we can get away. When I got into the vehicle, I had been stoned on my upper leg," Dewald Louw, a Lonmin security superintendent, told the inquiry in Pretoria.

"They [protesters] had closed up on us. I was also hit with a knobkerrie on my left shoulder and my right arm. We had left our vehicle idling but when we were getting in, it stopped."

He said the car was smashed with knobkerries, pangas, and spears.

As Foster struggled to start the car, Louw said he fired four rubber bullets from his shotgun.

"The windows were already broken. I fired from the broken window. At that stage, Martin got the vehicle moving," said Louw.

"We drove through the crowd. I am not sure whether any one of the protesters was bumped by the vehicle."

Two Lonmin security guards, Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani, were killed on the same day, 12 August 2012, at Lonmin's platinum mining operations in Marikana, North West.

A police witness, only known as "Mr X", previously testified that he was part of a group of striking Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana who underwent traditional rituals, and participated in the killing of the pair.

Mr X has detailed in an affidavit how flesh was cut from Fundi's face, how sangomas cut this into smaller pieces, mixed it with blood, and burnt it to ashes for the miners to lick. This was apparently to prepare them for a confrontation with police.

Mr X also claims he was among the protesters who fatally shot and hacked two policemen on 13 August.

Warrant officers Tsietsi Monene and Sello Leepaku died after being repeatedly stabbed during the confrontation at Marikana.

The inquiry, led by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence.

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 the two security guards, were killed.

The public hearings resume on Thursday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  ian farlam  |  pretoria  |  marikana inquiry
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