Mambush 'flouted sangomas' instructions

2014-07-18 19:52

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

Pretoria - The Marikana miners' leader, known as "Mambush", did not follow all the instructions handed out by sangomas, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Friday.

The leader of a group of militant striking miners, also known as "the man in the green blanket", apparently flouted an instruction to abstain from changing clothing in the days leading up to a violent clash with police.

This was the testimony of police witness Mr X, who cannot be named and is testifying via a video link to protect his identity, as he fears repercussions for giving evidence.

Mr X claimed he was part of a group of striking Lonmin workers at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, who participated in traditional rituals and the killing of two Lonmin security guards and two police officers, who were shot and hacked to death when striking Lonmin miners attacked the police on 13 August 2012.


Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, for the families of the slain protesters, asked Mr X to recall the sangomas' instructions in a ritual that aimed to make the protesters impenetrable to police bullets and invisible to the police.

The instructions included abstaining from "sleeping with women", killing snakes or rabbits and changing or washing their clothing.

Ntsebeza asked Mr X to show that Mambush had not complied with the instruction about changing his clothes.

Ntsebeza asked Mr X to look at video clips of Mambush in the days leading up to the clash with the police and to compare Mambush's clothing on the different days.

In some clips, Mambush appeared to be wearing a light-coloured, long-sleeved shirt and jacket under his distinctive green blanket, while in others his shirt or jacket appeared to be of darker colours.

Ntsebeza asked Mr X: "Can you see that is blue jeans and not of a darker colour [as was the case in an earlier video clip]?"

Mr X said: "The colours are not the same."

Ntsebeza asked: "The shirt, is it the same?"

Mr X conceded it was not the same.

Ntsebeza said: "Either there was not such a thing [as the sangomas' instructions] or there was nobody who followed them, even Mambush, the leader."


He also asked why there appeared to be more detail in an evidence statement Mr X gave this year, compared to one he made last year.

"What you are saying in the second statement [regarding instructions from the sangomas], you put it into the statement because you wanted to come in line with the police's case..."

Mr X disputed this.

"I'm saying these were the inyangas' [traditional healers'] instructions." Earlier, Mr X denied having anything to gain in exchange for his testimony.

Asked what he thought would happen to him after the Commission's work ended, Mr X said: "I am thinking I will also be charged because I have also killed."

Ntsebeza asked: "You said your life is in danger. What makes you think so?"

Mr X replied: "Because I mentioned everything we did at Marikana."


Asked by Ntsebeza who would do something to him, Mr X answered: "It is a person, or people, that I have involved about everything we did wrong."

At the beginning of the month, evidence leader Geoff Budlender cast doubt on Mr X's credibility.

He argued that his evidence that Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa was at Marikana on 14 August 2012 was not consistent with evidence from phone records.

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

The Commission adjourned until Monday, when the Amcu representative is expected to cross-examine Mr X.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  farlam inquiry

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


6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!


For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers 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


It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing 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.