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North West - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) called its first witness to testify at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Rustenburg on Wednesday.
Karel Tip, for the NUM, called Erick Gcilitshana, who is the union's national secretary and a Lonmin employee.
He was also the chief negotiator during the mineworkers' strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, where 34 workers were killed last year.
“I started (as a negotiator) in 2005. (I became the chief negotiator) in 2007,” he told the commission.
The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at the mine.
Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16.
In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were hacked to death. - Sapa