Mr X: Sangoma gave us rules to follow

2014-06-20 12:34


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

Pretoria - A sangoma hired by striking Marikana miners in August 2012 burnt two live sheep in a night ritual, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Friday.

Police witness, identified only as Mr X, told the commission that on the night of 11 August 2012, the black and white sheep were tied in sheets and placed on two fires.

"The sheep were fetched from the shacks nearby. The sangoma placed them on the fire, they were alive.
A black liquid flowed out and it was said this fluid would be used for rituals," said Mr X.

"We were then taken to the river for a cleansing. We undressed and the sangoma was in front of us. We went into the water naked. The sangoma poured some muti into the river and put some into our mouths."

There were about 200 mineworkers in the group and they were taken through the rituals in batches.

‘Told to abstain from sex’

A mixture was made of the fat and blood which dripped from the burning sheep, and this was dispensed to the strikers at the koppie (hill) at Marikana.

"It was said 'men will be made men'. We were told that incisions would be made on our bodies. Secrets of the mountain had to end there. We were given rules to follow," he said.

"We were told to abstain from sex for seven days, not to go where there is water, not to eat pork, sheep, and fish. We were also told not to have golden teeth, necklaces, watches, and coins."

Mr X was led in submitting his evidence by Tebogo Mathibedi SC, for the police.

Mathibedi showed several pictures taken at Marikana in August 2012 and Mr X was able to identify himself among other protesters.

Mr X testified via video link from an undisclosed location on Friday. He claims to be one of the striking Marikana miners who underwent traditional rituals, swallowing the ashes of the sheep.

‘Strict instructions not to shoot’

Mr X said the miners were under strict instructions not to shoot before police opened fire.

"Every one of us had his own blade, he cut us above the eyes, in the head, all the joints, below and above the nipples, on the sides of the hips, on the toes and ankles," he said.

The hearing took an early break on Friday morning as Mr X was said to be "feeling unwell".

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West.

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 two policemen and two security guards, were killed.
The inquiry continues.
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry

Zuma must share Nkandla

3 minutes ago

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


BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

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

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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


There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with 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.