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Mr X: Amcu's Mathunjwa told us to kill NUM boss

Gabi Falanga

Mr X, testifying at the Marikana Commission, claims that Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told some strikers to kill NUM president Senzeni Zokwana.

Isaiah Twala was killed on August 14 2012 by strikers who had undergone rituals who accused him of being a NUM spy, according to Mr X's testimony. (Paul Botes, M&G)

Mr X told the commission how they allowed Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa to address them on the koppie on the night of August 14 2012. 

Mathunjwa had contacted a striker known as Xolani – the only makarapa (striker who had undergone rituals) allowed to carry a phone – and asked permission to come to the koppie. Mr X described how Mathunjwa talked about Amcu membership.

Mr X also claims that Mathunjwa told them not to allow NUM’s president Senzeni Zokwana to address them during their visit the following day and that they should kill him “so that we can get what we are demanding”. The committee and makarapas agreed with this.

Mr X is still to be cross-examined about these claims. 

When Zokwana did come to the koppie on August 15 2012 he did not leave the police nyala. “We never allowed him to talk to us. He tried, but he was not welcome to talk to us,” said Mr X. 

However, he told how they welcomed Mathunjwa and asked him to come back the following day. Mr X recalls what Mathunjwa told the strikers when he returned on August 16. 

“I remember him saying we should lay down our arms, there is going to be bloodshed here,” Mr X told the commission. But the strikers refused, saying they wanted to speak to their employer, Lonmin.

The commission was also shown photos of the body of a bloodied NUM member with a cow’s skull on his chest. Isaiah Twala was killed on August 14 2012 by a group of makarapas who accused him of being a NUM spy.

Mr X told the commission how he was part of the committee that decided that Twala should be killed. 

According to Mr X, three strikers were questioned by the committee. The first two were allowed to leave, but when Twala was searched, they found a cellphone in his pocket, and accused him of using it to contact NUM. 

Mr X testified on Monday that Twala was accused by Xolani of being a spy. “Xolani said he knows Twala, that Twala works with him and that he was a spy at work and had caused people to be dismissed.” Xolani’s surname was not mentioned in Mr X’s testimony.

Twala was also one of the makarapas who had undergone rituals and had been banned by the inyangas from carrying a phone. Mr X then described how five of the strikers took Twala to the other side of the mountain where they used his own gun to kill him. A bull’s skull was then left on Twala’s chest. When the five returned, the group of makarapas started singing: “How are we going to kill this NUM, we hate this NUM,” said Mr X.  

Mr X is expected to continue testifying on Tuesday about the events of August 16 2012, when 34 striking miners were shot and killed by police at Marikana. 

Meanwhile on Monday, the presidency released a statement extending the commission’s deadline of July 31 2014 to September 30 2014. “After engagement between the President, the Chairperson of the Commission and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, it became evident that the Commission would not be able to complete its investigation by 31 July 2014, hence the extension of the term of the Commission,” it said.

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