North West - Protesting Lonmin mine workers in Marikana, Rustenburg, grew so aggressive after they took muti from a renowned traditional healer that they believed the muti had made them invincible, it was reported on Tuesday.
“After they got the muti people were so aggressive. They just wanted to fight. They felt so invincible,” Lonmin miner Bulelani Malawana told the Daily Dispatch.
“I was offered it for R1000. I turned it down as I didn’t believe in it,” he said.
Two miners who survived the shooting last week Thursday, said they were made to believe that if they used muti by a traditional healer known as Nzabe in the Eastern Cape, bullets fired by police would not harm them.
Malawana said he refused to take the muti as he did not believe in it.
Another mine worker said their leaders had approached them on Thursday and warned them to leave or they would be killed.
Nothi Zimanga said miners drank brown muti to strengthen them ahead of their confrontation with police.
“They were cut several times on their upper body and a black substance was smeared on the wounds.”
He said they were told that when they confronted the police they should not look back and should instead just charge forward.
They were told if they looked back, the muti would not work.
The confrontation left 34 miners dead and 78 injured.
Another 260 were arrested.
The nyanga who reportedly dispensed the muti was popular in Mbizane in the Eastern Cape. - Sapa