Gasps as Mr X revealed at inquiry

2014-06-19 13:07
Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

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

Pretoria - The face of mysterious witness dubbed Mr X was revealed for the first time at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria on Thursday.

Gasps and whispers were heard in the Tshwane municipal auditorium where the commission is holding public hearings into the 2012 Marikana shooting.

Families of slain mineworkers, mineworkers who survived the shooting, and relatives of killed mine security guards watched intently as the witness appeared on big screens. He may not be named to protect his identity.

Commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, started proceedings by repeating the conditions to be followed, in line with his ruling made in April, on Mr X's testimony.

Rulings

He said the witness would give evidence to the commission in camera from an undisclosed location.

"I make the following rulings: that the members of the media may not publish the name of Mr X or any other information which may reveal his identity.

"All video recordings of the evidence of Mr X must be blurred out so as not to disclose his identity," said Farlam.

Members of the public could listen to an audio transmission of the commission's proceedings from an overflow room when Mr X testified.

A member of the commission's evidence leaders' team would always be in the room where Mr X testified from.

"Only the commissioners [of the inquiry], the parties, the legal representatives, evidence leaders, and accredited media representatives shall be present in the auditorium during the testimony of Mr X," said Farlam.

In witness protection

His ruling followed an application by the police seeking the protection of Mr X, owing to safety concerns.

In March, Sesi Baloyi, for the police, said Mr X was under witness protection and would be in danger if his identity was revealed or published.

"There is a real concern that his testimony before this commission may expose him and his family to harm. As things stand, Mr X is under witness protection," she said at the time.

Mr X claims he was one of the group of protesting Marikana miners who underwent a ritual, which included two sangomas burning live sheep and swallowing their ashes on 11 August 2012.

In Mr X's sworn statement he details how the mineworkers attacked and killed Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani.

Body parts used in rituals

Some of Hassan's body parts were removed and taken with Mabelani's ashes for use in muti rituals, according to Mr X.

He details how sangomas cut parts of Fundi into smaller pieces, mixed them with blood, and burnt them to ashes.

"We were instructed by the inyangas [traditional healers] to stand in a line and the ashes were put in our mouth using a spoon which we licked and swallowed," Mr X wrote in his affidavit.

"After this, the inyangas told us that they had accomplished their mission in protecting us from police bullets, made us fearless, strong, and invisible to the police."

Mr X narrates how he and other protesters attacked and killed two police officers on 13 August. He said they robbed the officers of their cellphones and service firearms.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead by 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.
- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
91 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.

/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Love is in the air and it is swirling around you in a romantic mist. This may be an idealistic yearning for that perfect love or...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.