The Marikana saga rages on. On Thursday, there were emotional outbursts as the SAPS key witness gave evidence with most of the relatives of those that were killed in the violence crying that, in the end, the commissioner, Ian Farham had to grant an early tea break.
The witness, known only as Mr X, is formerly one of the miners who were involved in the 2012 strike that led to violence and the killing of more than thirty miners and other personnel. He has since made a deal and turned state witness.
In his description of what transpired, Mr X claims that as they approached the entrance to the mine, the two security guards tried to stop the irate miners. Mr X described how the first security guard was attacked by the miners. The first security guard, Hassan Fundi, was stabbed with a spear, slapped with a panga and had his tongue, chin and blood cut off and put into a plastic bag. He further described how the contents of the plastic bag were given to a traditional healer who burnt it all to ashes before mixing it with other herbs. This was to be used to strengthen the miners so that they would not go back on their demands. The SAPS witness whose evidence was led by advocate Frank Mathibedi added that the second security guard, Frans Mabelani’s body was placed in a car and the car was doused with petrol and set alight.
In an apparent attempt to minimize the effect that his evidence is having, the lawyer representing the injured and affected miners, advocate Dali Mpofu made a move to bar the key witness, Mr X from testifying until his mental state is completely verified. In particular, Advocate Mpofu required that the competency and suitability of Mr X as a witness be verified. In justifying his application, Mpofu argued that he was protecting the rights of his clients who could be implicated in a number of ways. He focussed a big part of his application on the claim by Mr X that his mental distress was caused by those parties that were affected by his evidence. This caused an early adjournment as he wanted to consult his traditional healer. The application was supported by both AMCU and the families of the deceased miners.
After the break, Commissioner Ian Farham responded to Mpofu’s application, saying that he had not seen any evidence that the witness had been deprived of the proper use of his mental faculties.