South Africa 22.7.2014 02:47 pm

Marikana’s ‘Mr X’ off sick

FILE PICTURE: Commissioner Ian Farlam at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on December 18, 2012, in Rustenburg, South Africa. The commission is investigating what led to the deaths of 46 people during an illegal wage strike by Lonmin mine workers. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe) .

FILE PICTURE: Commissioner Ian Farlam at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on December 18, 2012, in Rustenburg, South Africa. The commission is investigating what led to the deaths of 46 people during an illegal wage strike by Lonmin mine workers. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe) .

Proceedings at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry were postponed on Tuesday after police witness, known only as “Mr X”, fell ill.

After a prolonged break, Tebogo Mathibedi, for the police, announced the witness could not proceed on Tuesday.

“Mr X was taken to the doctor. He has been booked off for today and tomorrow,” Mathibedi said.

Mr X had complained about an upset stomach earlier.

Inquiry chairman retired judge Ian Farlam said the testimony of Mr X would stand down and a Lonmin executive, Michael da Costa, would give evidence on Wednesday.

Mr X, who cannot be identified to protect his identity, had been testifying via video link from an undisclosed location. He says he fears for his life and is under police witness protection.

He claims he was part of a group of striking Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, who participated in the killing of Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani on August 12, 2012.

He has detailed in an affidavit how flesh was cut from Fundi’s face, how sangomas cut this into smaller pieces, mixed it with blood, and burnt it to ashes for the miners to lick. This was apparently to prepare them for a confrontation with police.

Mr X claims he was also among protesters who shot and hacked two policemen to death on August 13, 2012. Warrant Officers Tsietsi Monene and Sello Leepaku were repeatedly stabbed during the confrontation at Marikana.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin’s mining operations in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking Lonmin mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and another 250 arrested on August 16, 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and the two security guards, were killed.

Sapa

 

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