Marikana witness implicated in murders

A witness who is set to testify before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry has been implicated in the murder of two people, including a security guard.

Police have indicated that they will call upon a Mr X who will testify about the rituals allegedly undergone by striking mine workers with the belief that they would be invincible and immune to bullets.

The identity of Mr X has remained a mystery, with police lawyers only hinting that he was one of the striking mine workers.

However, during re-examination of mine worker Mzoxolo Magidiwana yesterday afternoon, his lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu read extracts from Mr X’s statement, which had not been read by the police lawyers.

In the statement, Mr X alluded to taking part in the gruesome killing of a security guard employed by Lonmin on Sunday 12 August.

Two security guards, Frans Mabelane and Hassan Fundi, were stabbed and hacked with sharp, dangerous objects when they attempted to stop a group of striking workers from marching to the National Union of Mineworkers’ offices.

Mabelane suffered third-degree burns all over his body, while Fundi’s jaw was slashed with a machete and his tongue was apparently cut off. Mr X alleges that his blood was taken and used in rituals.

Mpofu read out chilling details of Mr X’s statement, in which he gives detailed accounts of the frenzy of hacking, stabbing and assault that led to one of the security guard’s deaths.

Mr X’s statement also gives evidence of his complicity in the killing of a civilian who was also killed with sharp objects on the night of August 11.

Magidiwana denied knowledge of Mr X’s evidence, saying he only joined the striking mine workers on August 16.

Police lawyer, Ishmael Semenya, disputed Magidiwana’s testimony that police had shot him while he lay on the ground in full view of media cameras.

Magidiwana fell after he was shot, together with a group of armed mine workers who appeared to be charging at the police in a scene captured by the media.

He said in his statement he had been shot again several times as he lay injured on the ground. Semenya said there was no evidence of Magidiwana being shot during any of the video material shown to the commission because the incident did not happen.

Magidiwana, who has been testifying for the past two weeks, concluded his testimony yesterday. His time on the stand has been characterised by emotional outbursts which earned him strong reprimands from commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam.

On several occasions, including this afternoon, the commission was forced to adjourn briefly after Magidiwana broke down upon seeing footage of him and his colleagues being shot at by police.

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