Marikana: Mr X claims miners’ muti is making him sick

There were sniggers and suppressed laughter at the Marikana commission on Friday, when Mr X asked the chairperson to halt the commission so he could consult his traditional healer.

This came just after an extended tea break was held because the witness claimed to feel sick. “Chair, I’m making an application that these people are using muti against me. I’m asking for permission that I may see my sangoma,” said Mr X, accusing the miners who are attending the commission of using muti to make him sick during his testimony.

Chairperson, judge Ian Farlam, granted the stand-down to more sniggers. One of the widows of a deceased miner could be heard expressing her disgust to those around her: “I want that same muti because maybe it’ll raise my husband up [from the dead].”

Farlam eventually granted an adjournment until Monday, when Mr X’s testiomny will continue.

Earlier, still having his evidence led by advocate Frank Mathibedi, on behalf of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Mr X revealed more details about the rituals that the striking Marikana miners took part in in August 2012.

Burnt alive
He told how one of the two inyangas took a group of miners down to the river, where they stripped down and stood in the river while the inyanga poured muti into their mouths.

He shared details of how two sheep were wrapped in sheets and burnt alive on the koppie. The burnt sheep, blood and water was mixed together to make muti and applied to cuts made on the miners’ bodies with razor blades.

According to Mr X, the miners who took part in these rituals had to abide by a number of rules in order to render the muti effective, namely abstinence, not walking near water, not to eat pork, sheep or fish, not to wear watches, necklaces or gold teeth and not to carry any silver money. They were also told by the inyangas “that we were not to fire before the police started shooting … then we would be capable of being shot. But if we did not do so the police guns would not be able to shoot us,” he told the commission.

The Farlam commission is investigating the events that took place at Marikana in August 2012, when 34 striking miners were killed by police and more than 70 were injured.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.


The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations