Mr X quizzed on Amcu boss’s visit

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iol news pic Ian Farlam INLSA Honourable Judge Ian Gordon Farlam during the public hearing of the Marikana Commission of Enquiry to investigate the Marikana tragedy. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Pretoria - A police witness, identified only as “Mr X”, was confronted at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday regarding his evidence that Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa addressed Marikana strikers on August 14, 2012.

Evidence leader Geoff Budlender said contrary to Mr X's assertions, phone records indicated that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union leader was not at Marikana that day.

“You said Mr Mathunjwa, on the 14th of August, called Mr Nzuza to ask if he could come to Marikana. You said Mr Nzuza later called Mr Mathunjwa and told him that he should come to the koppie (hill),” said Budlender.

“Phone records show where he (Mathunjwa) was when he was receiving and making calls. He made and received no calls in Marikana or North West. To the contrary he was in Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Witbank. Can you explain that?”

Budlender said a further analysis of Mathunjwa's phone records also revealed that he never called Xolani Nzuza, one of the protest leaders at Marikana.

Mr X responded: “I cannot explain it, except to say maybe Mr Mathunjwa was using someone's phone. Mr Mathunjwa arrived there. Pretoria and Johannesburg are not far from Marikana.”

“The truth has not come forward yet. When people get arrested, they will say the truth. They are still playing,” said Mr X.

Budlender asked whether it would be probable that Mathunjwa made calls while in Pretoria, then rushed to Marikana, returned back to Pretoria and made more calls.

“I do not have knowledge about the workings of his phone. What I know is that Mathunjwa was there at Marikana. Mr Mathunjwa has a car,” he responded.

Budlender told the commission it had also been established that on August 15, 2012 Mathunjwa's phone was in the vicinity of the SABC in Pretoria. He was later interviewed by the national broadcaster.

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

Last week, Mr X testified that Mathunjwa went to the Marikana hill where the protesters were gathered at night on August 14, 2012.

“He said he was interested in the membership. Let's kill the National Union of Mineworkers so we can get what we are demanding,” said Mr X.

He was referring to a conversation he said he overheard between Nzuza and Mathunjwa.

Mr X claims he was one of the group of protesting Marikana miners who underwent traditional rituals, which included two sangomas burning live sheep and swallowing their ashes on August 11, 2012.

In his sworn statement to the inquiry, Mr X narrates how he and other protesters attacked and killed two police officers on August 13. He said they robbed the officers of their cellphones and service firearms.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana.

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 the two policemen and two security guards, were killed.

Sapa



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