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Miner denies Marikana death

Pretoria - One of the men who led the strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in August 2012 denied on Monday that he played any part in the fatal attacks that occurred.

Testifying before the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Centurion, Xolani Nzuza disputed the evidence of a witness known as Mr X.

Retired judge Ian Farlam speaks as the Marikana Commission of Inquiry into the shootings at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Credit: Reuters

Mr X had testified that Nzuza was present when two security guards and National Union of Mineworkers shop steward, Isaiah Twala, were killed during the unrest.

According to Mr X, Twala was killed amid suspicions that he was a spy.

“I was not there,” Nzuza testified.

He said he did not even see it was Twala's body that was collected from the koppie.

Nzuza earlier testified he was initially part of the National Union of Mineworkers but had joined rival union Amcu several years before the unrest after disagreements about payouts NUM-affiliates were meant to receive.

“NUM said we are no longer their members,” said Nzuza, explaining what caused him to jump ship.

Mr X had given his damning evidence against Nzuza via a video link as he could not be identified to protect his identity.

Several of the lawyers participating in the commission subsequently said they did not believe Mr X's testimony.

Nzuza agreed that some of Mr X's testimony was untruthful.

“It's a lie that some people spent several nights sleeping at the koppie. I never slept at the koppie,” he said.

Mr X also testified that Nzuza communicated with Amcu leader Joseph.

Mathunjwa telephonically just two days before the shooting.

Mathunjwa subsequently arrived the koppie, Mr X had testified.

Nzuza on Monday denied this happened, and said he never saw Mr X during the unrest.

Following Mr X's testimony, the head of the evidence leaders, Geoff Budlender, said Mathunjwa's phone records showed no interaction between himself and Nzuza.

It was also established through tracing his phone movements, that Mathunjwa was in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Witbank.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people killed during the strike-related unrest.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police.

Over 70 were wounded and over 200 were arrested on August 16, 2012.

Police were apparently trying to disperse them.

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

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