Marikana on edge after miner shot dead

2014-07-23 11:24
Marikana protesters (AFP)

Marikana protesters (AFP)

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

Pretoria - Mineworkers in Marikana, North West, fear for their lives after a colleague was shot dead in the area, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

Bongani "Bhayi" Mehlonkomo was killed in Marikana on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old was walking home on Tuesday afternoon when occupants of a car opened fire and killed him, Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.

"The incident happened at around 16:30. He was near a playground when he was shot by occupants in a vehicle."

His attackers fled the scene. A case of murder had been opened.


Dali Mpofu SC, for miners arrested and wounded during strike-related violence in Marikana in August 2012, told the commission his clients were petrified.

"There is growing concern among the people that I represent. Speculation in the community is that the assassination is connected to the mentioning of names by Mr X," Mpofu told the inquiry in Pretoria.

"Their fear is that those who have been implicated falsely feel that their lives are under threat. They are not under protection and are vulnerable."

Police witness "Mr X" may not be identified and is testifying via a remote video link from an undisclosed location. He is under witness protection.

Mentioned by Mr X

Mpofu said Mr X had mentioned Bhayi repeatedly at the inquiry, implicating him in the August 2012 murders of police officers and Lonmin security guards.

Bhayi was a member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

Under cross-examination last week, Mr X was asked by Takalani Masevhe, for the family of slain Warrant Officer Tsietsi Monene, to name the person who shot the policeman at close range.

After much hesitation, Mr X said those responsible were a protester Tholakele, popularly known as "Bhele", and Bongani, popularly known as "Bhayi". He said he did not know their surnames.

"I want to apologise because these men said I should not mention their names. I communicate with the men of Marikana. They must tell the truth," said Mr X.

Monene was one of two officers hacked and shot dead on 13 August 2012 after police clashed with protesting miners.

Other murders

Last year, commission chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, offered the commission's condolences following the murder of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) branch chairperson William Setelele. He was shot dead near the Marikana hill close to Lonmin's platinum mine.

Another NUM official, Daluvuyo Bongo, was killed in October 2012.

The NUM branch secretary was shot six times at his home at the Wonderkop hostel complex in Marikana on October 5. He was scheduled to testify at the commission's public hearings.

At the time of Bongo's death, the NUM said he was set to present key information to the commission.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead by police apparently trying to disarm and disperse them on 16 August 2012. Seventy others were wounded and 250 arrested.

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

Read more on:    dali mpofu  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be 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.