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Fresh questions for NUM president

Mining Indaba

Rustenburg - The president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) returned to the stand at the Farlam commission of inquiry in Rustenburg on Thursday.

Senzeni Zokwana did so because Karel Tip, for the NUM, sought clarity on a strike by rock drill operators in the North West in June.

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From left: advocate Pingla Hemraj, Marikana commission chairman Ian Farlam and advocate Bantubonke Tokota are seen during the first week of the inquiry at the Civic Centre in Rustenburg in the North West, Wednesday, 3 October 2012. The judicial commission of inquiry into the shooting at Lonmin platinum mine was postponed on Wednesday. Lawyers representing the different parties unanimously decided to postpone the matter to 9am on October 22. Thirty-four miners were killed and 78 wounded when police opened fire on them while trying to disperse protesters near the mine in Marikana on August 16. Picture: SAPA stringer

The inquiry heard that the rock drill operators at Lonmin platinum's Marikana mine met with rock drill operators from another mine who indicated they could not get a wage increase.

The morning's procedures started with Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, seeking clarity from Zokwana on the songs union members sung at protests.

Zokwana earlier testified they were threatening. However, on Thursday he said not all the songs should be taken literally.

Zokwana was finished by the tea break and Mpofu indicated he would call a new witness, one of the miners shot and injured in August.

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine. On August 16, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 injured when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group that had gathered on a hill near the mine.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

The inquiry continues.

Sapa

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