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Marikana: Mr X insists SAPS, Lonmin are innocent

Gabi Falanga

A miner who is testifying at the Marikana commission says both the police and mining company Lonmin were innocent in the events at Marikana in 2012.

Mr X has maintained that the miners should carry the blame, because it was them who 'attacked' the police. (Reuters)

Mr X – a miner who is testifying via video link – insisted on Tuesday that both the police and Lonmin were innocent in the events at Marikana in 2012. 

“I’ve come to explain it thoroughly. The mine is innocent and the police are also innocent,” he told the commission on Tuesday.

This was after Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represents the injured and arrested miners, said that he would argue that the five deaths at Marikana on August 13 2012 should be “laid at the door of SAPS who triggered that event”.

Two police officers and three miners were killed during a clash between the two groups on the day.

Mpofu said that the other five deaths in the week preceding the August 16 massacre could be blamed on the protesters and that certain strikers had already been charged with some of these deaths. He then added that has nothing to contribute to the commission in terms of giving evidence about these deaths or to whether the police are innocent or guilty.

‘Public relations disaster’
“You have been called here knowing that you cannot assist the SAPS,” Mpofu told the witness. “It has turned in to a public relations disaster. The only possible issue of relevance that you’ve been brought here for is the issue of muthi and I’ll show that even on that issue, the quality of your evidence amounts to a nullity.”

But Mr X lashed back at Mpofu, insisting that the police and Lonmin were innocent in the events that took place at Marikana. He maintained that the miners should carry the blame because it was them who “attacked” the police.

Mr X’s testimony was cut short because he complained of a stomach upset, which elicited laughter and sniggers from the audience in the auditorium.

After Mr X was given a chance to see a doctor, the commission was adjourned early to give him a chance to recuperate. It will still be decided when Mr X will complete his testimony.

The commission resumes on Wednesday morning with the cross-examination of Michael Gomes da Costa. Da Costa was the vice-president of Lonmin’s Karee Mine at the time of the 2012 strike.

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