Man shot dead may be person mentioned in Marikana commission

2014-07-23 11:45

A man has been shot dead in Marikana in the North West, police said.

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

“The incident happened at about 4.30pm. He was near a playground when he was shot by occupants in a vehicle.”

His attackers fled the scene.

Police could not yet reveal the man’s identity, but said a case of murder had been opened.

Mokgwabone could not confirm if the victim was the man mentioned at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

The commission heard that Bongani “Bhayi” Mehlonkomo was shot dead in Marikana yesterday evening, and that other mineworkers in the area feared for their lives.

Dali Mpofu, representing miners arrested and wounded during strike-related violence in Marikana in August 2012, said Mehlonkomo was a member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

He said police witness Mr X repeatedly mentioned Mehlonkomo at the inquiry, implicating him in the murders of police officers and Lonmin security guards in the 2012 uprising.

“There is growing concern among the people 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 their lives are under threat. They are not under protection and are vulnerable.”

Mr X is under police protection and may not be identified. He has been testifying via video link from an undisclosed location.

The inquiry, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations in Marikana in 2012.

Police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mineworkers, and wounded 70, on August 16 2012. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

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