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Suspected spy killed at Marikana

Pretoria - A man believed to be a spy was shot dead by strikers during the violent strike at Lonmin in Marikana in August 2012, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

Isaiah Twala was shot dead at the side of the hill at Marikana

Ian Farlam. File picture: Oupa Mokoena. Credit: Independent Newspapers

after he was found to be carrying a cellphone on August 14, 2012, a witness identified only as “Mr X” told the inquiry in Pretoria.

Mr X may not be identified to protect his identity, and is testifying via video link from an undisclosed location.

He said it was alleged Twala was using his cellphone to send information to the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

“They took him to the other side of the mountain, his gun was taken... after they had gone I heard a gunshot,” he said.

Twala's body was found by police on the side of the hill with a bull's skull on his chest.

Mr X said Twala was a shop steward for the NUM at the mine's Karee shaft.

The commission 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.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking 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 two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union gained prominence during that strike.

Sapa

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