Mineworker quizzed over evidence

2013-03-01 13:43
Marikana strikers (Picture: Supplied)

Marikana strikers (Picture: Supplied)

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Rustenburg - Evidence given to the Farlam commission by mineworker Mzoxolo Magidiwana was questioned on Friday when the commission resumed in Rustenburg.

Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana, representing the police, cross-examined Magidiwana regarding his previous statement that he had only joined the protests on 16 August.

Ngalwana played a series of photographs, which he said were taken at the koppie on 15 August, and Magidiwana featured in the images.

“The police will lead evidence that these photos were taken on the 15th of August. It was on a Wednesday and you were there [at the koppie],” said Ngalwana.

“Sir, I do not remember going there [to the koppie] on August 15,” responded Magidiwana.

‘You don’t remember being there?’

Ngalwana said: “I know you don’t remember, but if someone remembers that the photo was taken on August 15, would you dispute that? Someone will testify that you were there on August 15.

“You are not saying you were not there, you are saying you don’t remember being there,” said Ngalwana.

Magidiwana responded: “I don’t dispute what you are saying.”

Ngalwana also quizzed Magidiwana over his evidence, stating that he was carrying only a knobkerrie during the protests.

Photographs were played to the commission showing Magidiwana sitting amongst protesters at the koppie, singing and holding a knobkerrie and a sharpened rod.

Ngalwana said the images were captured on 16 August.

“Do you see that you were carrying two things there? So when you said you were carrying only a knobkerrie you were not saying the truth. You have said the weapon you were carrying was a knobkerrie only,” said Ngalwana.


Magidiwana then said he remembered what happened, leading him to carry the two weapons.

“Taking another person’s weapon and using it to make a rhythm is different (from having two weapons) when one is tired of clapping hands. I was holding two weapons there but when I left my house I was carrying only one weapon,” said Magidiwana.

“I was tired and used someone’s weapon to clap (by clashing the two weapons). When you are sitting at a place, singing and there is joy there, you can take someone’s thing and use it to clap. If I wasn’t clapping how could there be rhythm in the song,” he said.

Farlam asked Magidiwana whether he returned the sharpened rod to the owner after using it to clap. Magidiwana said he did.

The hearing continues.

Magidiwana previously told the commission that he was repeatedly shot and beaten by the police on 16 August. He said the police approached him, asking him where he had put the firearm.

Arrested, charged

The police have alleged that Magidiwana was shot in an attempt to disarm him. He was allegedly found with a Z88 pistol bearing the SA Police Service emblem.

The police said he was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was arrested, but could not be detained because of the severity of his wounds.

Magidiwana was hospitalised at various institutions, under police guard.

He was charged as accused number 273 of the protesting mineworkers.

A policeman has testified that Magidiwana conceded being in possession of the police firearm.

Another police officer submitted that he saw Magidiwana shoot at a Nyala (police armoured vehicle).

The 24-year-old has dismissed the allegations as "nonsense".

The Farlam Commission is holding hearings in Rustenburg, North West, as part of its inquiry into the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike in Marikana last year.
Read more on:    police  |  lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining  |  mining unrest

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