Amcu leader blamed for Marikana - Mr X

2014-07-17 13:42
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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

Pretoria - Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa caused the confrontation between police officers and striking Marikana miners which left 34 people dead, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

Police witness Mr X was questioned in Pretoria by the commission's head of evidence leaders, Advocate Geoff Budlender about allegations he made against the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (Amcu) president.

"We were being used by Mathunjwa to do fraud. I really want to apologise about what happened at Marikana. We forced people to join Amcu," Mr X said.

Mr X may not be named to protect his identity. He is under police witness protection and is testifying at the commission via video link from an undisclosed location.

"Workers joined out of fear, they realised there were killings going on," he said.

"People were being killed at Marikana. Life is more important than money."

Budlender asked: "Who defrauded who? Mr X, you seem to be very angry with Mr Mathunjwa. You previously fabricated incidents about him coming to the [Marikana] koppie [on 14 August 2012].

"Why are you so angry with Mr Mathunjwa? Do you blame Mr Mathunjwa for what happened at Marikana?"

Mr X responded: "It is him. I am not making a mistake."

Commission chairperson retired Judge Ian Farlam intervened to help Mr X.

"I don't understand why you say Mr Mathunjwa is responsible for the death of people on the 16th August 2012. Evidence we have had is that on that fatal afternoon he pleaded with people at the koppie to lay down their arms and leave," Farlam said.

"He went down on bended knees. He told the people that police would kill them. According to evidence, he went out of his way. You are saying he is responsible [for the deaths]. Can you help me understand your evidence?"

Mr X said Mathunjwa intervened because he wanted to boost his union's membership.

"He came to us at the koppie [on 16 August 2012]. My question is what was he doing there? All that happened at Marikana is because of Mathunjwa," said Mr X.

"He was seeking membership. If you are proposing love to a lady, you don't talk about other men, you only talk about yourself. He wanted to take NUM [National Union of Mineworkers] members."

Dominant union

During the strike by platinum miners in the North West in 2012, Amcu replaced NUM as the dominant union at Lonmin's mines.

Mr X has previously been questioned over his assertion that Mathunjwa addressed strikers at Marikana on 14 August 2012.

Budlender said contrary to Mr X's evidence, phone records indicated the Amcu leader was not at Marikana that day.

"Phone records show where he [Mathunjwa] was when he was receiving and making calls. He made and received no calls in Marikana or North West. To the contrary he was in Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Witbank. Can you explain that?"

Mr X responded: "I cannot explain it, except to say maybe Mr Mathunjwa was using someone's phone. Mr Mathunjwa arrived there. Pretoria and Johannesburg are not far from Marikana."

Budlender told the commission it had been established that on 15 August 2012 Mathunjwa's phone was near the SABC. He was later interviewed by the national broadcaster.

The witness claims he was part of a group of striking Lonmin workers at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, who underwent traditional rituals, and participated in the killing of two Lonmin security guards on 12 August.

A total of 34 people, mostly striking Lonmin mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police in Marikana on 16 August.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed. The commission is investigating the 44 deaths.

Read more on:    amcu  |  num  |  ian farlam  |  joseph mathunjwa  |  pretoria  |  marikana inquiry

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
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.