Mr X blames Joseph Mathunjwa for Marikana massacre

2014-07-17 17:15

The witness at the Marikana Commission known as Mr X says the death of 44 people in Marikana was Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa's fault.

“All of this was Mathunjwa’s fault. He said he wanted membership. We ... who were controlled by Mathunjwa committed fraud by enrolling so many people on the same day.

“Mathunjwa must bring back NUM’s membership. I want to ask for forgiveness for everything that happened in Marikana. But it was his fault,” Mr X said today under cross examination at the commission.

An evidently flustered Judge Ian Farlam said he didn’t understand how the deaths could be blamed on the Amcu president.

“He went out of his way to stop this. He begged on bended knee [that the striking miners leave]. How could it have been his fault?” asked Farlam.

Evidence leader Advocate Geoff Budlender said Mr X seemed very angry with Mathunjwa.

“You say he defrauded the workers. You previously made up the story that he was there prior to 15 August,” said Budlender.

Mr X was then questioned by lawyers representing warrant officer Tsietsi Monene, who was killed on August 13 2012. The warrant officer suffered two gunshot wounds, one at close range, as well as other injuries. When Mr X was asked who shot the officer, he replied that he would not name the miners.

“These men know me, they know I am here. I call them at times and I have told them to tell the truth. They have even been to my house. Magubane and others sent me a message during this past long weekend [when] I was given time to mourn, saying that I should not name them,” said Mr X.

He finally responded to the question by saying that one “Bhele” had shot the deceased at close range.

He added that he had understood at the time that what he was doing was wrong, but having been elected as part of the strike committee he felt that he could not say no.

Budlender argued that Mr X’s testimony was riddled with fantasies. He had given two statements, one in 2013 and the second in 2014. The latter, which was written by SAPS lawyers, had showed more knowledge of what happened during the days leading to August 16.

Mr X claimed that his first statement contained errors because the officer writing it was not Xhosa but Tswana.

“We did not understand each other, that’s why he didn’t put some of the things I had said in the statement. I wrote a second longer statement that was taken down by Ngqoko, who is Xhosa and understood what I was telling him,” he said.

However, Budlender then showed that a Captain MN Ngqoko had taken Mr X’s statement in Phokeng in 2013, while the second statement was taken by SAPS lawyers.

“Mr Ngqoko is not really Xhosa but he speaks the language because he works with people … he is Xhosa but he’s not from Mpondoland. We don’t speak the same way. Ngqoko and I did not really understand each other,” said Mr X.

“It may be that parts of what you’ve told the commission are the truth but it’s impossible to know what the truth is, which parts you were told by other people and which parts you invented,” said Budlender.

“You have invented events which you have put in your March 2014 statement, yet are not in your 2013 Phokeng statement. Parts of your evidence are obviously not the truth - for example, your story that Mr Mathunjwa visited the koppie on 14 August. That’s clearly fabricated.”

Mr X will continue his testimony on Friday.

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