ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH AND INJURY A policeman gestures in front of some of the dead miners after they were shot outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 16, 2012. South African police opened fire on Thursday against thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, leaving several bloodied corpses lying on the ground. A Reuters cameraman said he saw at least seven bodies after the shooting, which occurred when police laying out barricades of barbed wire were outflanked by some of an estimated 3,000 miners massed on a rocky outcrop near the mine, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) TEMPLATE OUT

Pretoria - A police witness, dubbed Mr X, will testify in camera, from a remote undisclosed location to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, retired judge Ian Farlam ruled on Tuesday.

He told the public hearings that any publication of Mr X's details will be prohibited.

Farlam's ruling followed an application by the SA Police Service seeking the protection of Mr X, owing to safety reasons.

He was apparently part of the group of protesting Marikana

miners who underwent a ritual which included two sangomas, the burning of live sheep and swallowing of the ashes on August 11, 2012.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West.

The police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mineworkers, wounded over 70, and arrested 250 on August 16, 2012 while trying to disarm and disperse them.

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

Sapa