2 minute read
18 Jul 2014
3:10 pm

Mr X is twisting facts to match the police – Ntsebeza

Statements made by police witness Mr X to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry varied, lawyers for families of slain Marikana mineworkers said on Friday.

FILE PICTURE: Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza. Picture: Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe

“There is a statement you made in February 2013 and another statement you made in February of 2014. In the 2013 statement, there are a few things you say you were instructed [to do] by the sangoma,” Dumisa Ntsebeza, SC, said at the commission’s public hearings in Pretoria.

“In your 2014 statement, you made additions of things that you had not mentioned in the 2013 statement. It is funny that you remember Marikana events better in 2014 than in 2013.”

Mr X responded: “Some people’s minds are slow.”

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

He claims he was part of a group of striking Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana, near Rustenburg, who participated in traditional rituals and the murders of Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani.

They were killed on August 12, 2012.

In a sworn statement to the commission, Mr X described how he and other protesters attacked and killed two policemen on August 13. He said they robbed the officers of their cellphones and service firearms.

Ntsebeza said Mr X added supplementary evidence to synchronise his testimony with that of the SA Police Service.

“These are three things: the police say the clashing of weapons by the miners was a sign of aggression. They also say the workers approached them in a crouching position — also a sign of aggression.

“Thirdly, the police say the protesters were attacking the police and they (police) were forced to defend themselves. When you gave your statement this year, you suddenly say the same things as the police,” said Ntsebeza.

Mr X said the protesters were attacking police as instructed by their sangoma.

“The clashing of weapons was an instruction of the sangoma. That would strengthen the muti,” said Mr X.

Ntsebeza asked why Mr X did not state these facts when he wrote statements in 2012 and 2013.

Ntsebeza said Mr X was lying about the instructions he alleges were from the sangoma.

Mr X responded: “You were not there when we consumed the muti. I was there.”

Mr X’s sworn statement details how sangomas cut parts of Fundi into smaller pieces, mixed them with blood, and burnt them to ashes.

“We were instructed by the inyangas [traditional healers] to stand in a line and the ashes were put in our mouth using a spoon which we licked and swallowed,” Mr X wrote in his affidavit.

“After this, the inyangas told us that they had accomplished their mission in protecting us from police bullets, made us fearless, strong, and invisible to the police.”

The inquiry, which is led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana.

The public hearings resume on Monday.

– Sapa