NUM questions miner over weapons

2013-03-12 17:32
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) sought to establish on Tuesday how often miner Mzoxolo Magidiwana carried two weapons during a wildcat strike by Lonmin mineworkers last August.

Karel Tip SC, for NUM, showed the Farlam Commission of Inquiry two video clips where miners were seen singing and waving weapons above their heads.

Tip asked Magidiwana if he saw himself in either of the clips. The miner pointed out that he was in both.

In the second clip, taken on 16 August, Tip asked Magidiwana if the "Kill the NUM" song was being sung while miners were "clicking" two weapons above their heads.

Magidiwana responded: "That is correct. It was only on the 16th [of August] that I had two weapons."

The commission heard that Magidiwana borrowed the extra weapon from someone also present at the strike to sing the song.

Tip said the striking mineworkers sung the "Kill the NUM" song while Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa addressed them on a hill near Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in the North West.

Magidiwana said he could not recall exactly when they sang the song and who was addressing them, but he told Tip he knew the song and offered to sing it to the commission.

Tip said Magidiwana was captured in one of the clips "clapping hands with vigour and enthusiasm" while singing the song.

Magidiwana, speaking through an interpreter, said: "That is correct."

Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, intervened, and said Tip needed to clarify whether he wanted to establish if it was on two different occasions or two different video clips.

Mpofu told the commission that Magidiwana said at various times that he had two weapons on only the one occasion.

Magidiwana also again told Tip that he could not recall going to the hill on 15 August.


Terry Motau SC, for Lonmin, started his cross-examination shortly before tea-break.

He sought to establish why and when other Lonmin employees joined the illegal strike by rock drill operators, and said some workers had claimed they were stopped from going to work.

"When did you decide you want Lonmin to pay you R12 500 after deductions?"

Magidiwana responded: "The day all the Lonmin workers decided to put tools down and demand the money."

The commission heard that 10 August was the last day Magidiwana went to work.

Motau continued his cross-examination, asking: "Do you want the commission to believe that on 10 August you had no idea that the R12 500 was already demanded and that Lonmin had already responded to the demand?"

Magidiwana said: "Yes."

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during the strike at the mine in Marikana last year.

On 16 August, 34 strikers were shot dead and 78 were injured when the police opened fire while trying to disperse a group 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.

The hearing resumes, with Motau cross-examining Magidiwana.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  num  |  dali mpofu  |  joseph mathunjwa  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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