Gun used to kill sangoma sent for tests

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iol news pic R5 rifle INLSA R5 rifle. File picture: Phil Magakoe

 Rustenburg - An R-5 rifle used to gun down a sangoma who performed rituals on Marikana mineworkers has been sent for tests to determine its origin, police said on Tuesday.

They were investigating the possibility that the gun belonged to one of the two police officers killed during a strike by Lonmin mineworkers in August last year, spokesman Makhosini Nkosi said.

“Police are investigating that possibility... it has not been confirmed yet. Ballistic tests are being conducted.”

The sangoma, Alton Joja, 69, was at his home in the Ludeke Holt village in Mbizana, on Sunday, March 24, when five men armed with pistols and rifles entered his homestead. They shot him when he approached their car to ask what they were looking for. They fled the scene. Their car was later found abandoned and burnt out, with the rifle inside. Joja died on arrival at a local hospital.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry on the Marikana killings heard last month that Joja was believed to have performed rituals on protesting Lonmin mineworkers before a shooting on August 16, during which 34 of them were killed.

Police had been trying to bring the sangoma to testify before the commission. - Sapa

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