Witness does not object to scar test

2013-03-06 16:23
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - A miner wounded in the Marikana shooting does not object to having scars on his chest medically tested to determine when they were inflicted, the Farlam commission of inquiry heard on Wednesday.

Mzoxolo Magidiwana claimed the scars were from a ritual performed at his home in the Eastern Cape, in December 2011.

Police advocate Vuyani Ngalwana wanted the tests done to determine whether they dated from August last year.

This was because police believed that a ritual was performed on a group of protesters, known as the "Marakapa", on the koppie in Marikana on or around 14 August, two days before 34 Lonmin strikers were shot dead.

Ngalwana claimed the purpose of the ritual was to make the group "strong and invincible" to police.

Magidiwana denied he was a Marakapa and that he had the scarring ritual performed on him on the koppie.

At first he appeared hesitant to answer the question, and asked Ngalwana whether he, as a Xhosa man, had similar ritual scars.

He said he would not object to the testing, provided his elders and lawyers were present.

Asked about his group's apparent leader, Mgcineni "Mambush" Noki's conversation with police prior to the 16 August shooting, Magidiwana said he did not know what was said.

Ngalwana alleged Noki told police that they, the police, would die on the koppie.

Magidiwana responded: "This thing you are always saying about Mambush... it hurts me because he did nothing wrong. We were killed there like flies."

Noki was among those killed during the confrontation with police. Magidiwana became upset when asked whether, in Reuters footage shown to him, police could be seen retreating.

He shouted and banged his fist on the desk. Commission chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, asked him to refrain from doing this and to answer the question.

Magidiwana then started crying. Farlam said it was not the commission's intention to subject him to unnecessary pain.

Farlam said it was understandable that seeing the footage of a time when Magidiwana could have died, and some of his colleagues were killed, could be upsetting.

He adjourned the commission until 10:00 on Monday.

Severe injuries

Earlier, Magidiwana claimed police encircled his group of protesters to shoot them.

"All endeavours were made to have us encircled so we could not get away."

When the first police Nyala vehicle began to deploy barbed wire, the group discussed its next move.

"Even as we were singing and moving, police started moving [to a gap in the police line]. They knew we would go there and they would encircle us and shoot us."

Magidiwana previously told the commission the police repeatedly shot and beat him on 16 August.

He was arrested for possession of a firearm, but could not be detained because of the severity of his injuries.

He has denied police claims that he carried a firearm and that he shot at a police Nyala vehicle.

The commission is holding hearings in Rustenburg, North West, as part of its inquiry into the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana last year.

On 16 August, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 injured when the police opened fire while allegedly trying to disperse a group which had gathered on a hill near the mine.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

Read more on:    ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry

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