16/08/2012 Some of the Lonmin striking mineworkers lie dead near Wonderkop informal settlement after they were shot by members police near Rustenburg. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Rustenburg - A rabbit that was chased and killed before the deadly police shootout with striking Lonmin workers may be the reason the tragedy happened, believe some of the surviving miners.

 They claim that a sangoma, who is alleged to have told them his muti would make them invincible, had warned them not to kill the rabbit.

The sangoma was shown in police video footage taken from a helicopter performing rituals as workers stripped naked before him in long queues.

He is said to have promised the workers that police guns would malfunction when they faced them if they followed his instructions and took his muti.

“The traditional healer warned all of us several times on the day not to kill the rabbit, but some among us decided to chase it around the hill and killed it,” said mineworker Khabo Khabo.

“I still honestly believe that if it wasn’t for the healer far more lives would have been lost on the day. If we had let the rabbit free all of the dead would still be alive, I swear.”


Another mineworker, who stood outside a morgue to see the body of a fellow Matatiele resident said he wanted to see the wounds.

“Once we have seen the dead miner’s wounds then maybe it will be clearer, because he was one of those who took the medicine through a razor cut on his forehead,” said the man, who did not give his name.

Several other workers who were asked about the sangoma said that his herbs had helped a great deal.

Weekend Argus