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MOGWASE - There is a huge difference in the State witness's testimony-in-chief and his statement to the police, the North West High Court hearing the trial of 14 men accused of murder in Marikana, was told on Tuesday.

"You are giving more information now in your evidence-in-chief than what you stated in your statement to the police. The statement you made to the police will be more accurate, as it was still fresh," defence attorney Eric Marx told the witness who has been testifying for the State and is in the witness protection programme.

Marx said it was surprising that the former community leader turned state witness could remember more incidents more than a year after the incident than two months after the incident when he made a statement to the police.

"I am sure that what is in the record [statement] is correct, because I give details from the meeting up to when we disperse," the witness replied, adding that some people remember a lot of things when time goes by and others remembered things when they just happened.

Marx said another huge discrepancy in his evidence-in-chief and the statement was that he did not say in his statement to the police that accused six, William Nyenyane, fired three shots in the air when the group left the Marikana police station on December 8, 2016, but in his evidence-in-chief he pointed this out.

The former community leader told the court all 14 men accused of murder were present at the scene and at a community meeting.

The State alleges Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi, Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster, Nyenyane, Aphindile Pungone, Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Luvo Soyizwaphi, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana hacked Sabata Petros Chale, 39, to death in Marikana West, on December 8, 2016, allegedly over the allocation of low-cost (RDP) houses at Marikana West Extension 

He told the court he was part of the five-men leaders of a group known as Zintsizwa, which forcefully occupied low-cost houses in Marikana West.

He told the court they were all armed with pangas, spears and knobkerries when they went to the Marikana police station because they wanted to defend themselves against the police.

They went to the police station after the police entered Khabangene in Marikana and chased Sobopha. The community allegedly attacked police while they were chasing Sobopha. 

In the afternoon they held a meeting and went to the police station to stop the police from entering Khabangene without the approval of the local ward councillor.

He, however, told the court he was not part of a meeting that decided to kill Chale.

The trial continues.

African News Agency/ANA