23 June 2014

South Africa: Application for Mr X to Get Mental Observation

Pretoria — A lawyer for the miners arrested and wounded at Marikana brought an application on Monday for the witness known as Mr X to undergo mental observation.

Dali Mpofu SC brought the application at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria.

"The nature and purpose of this application is simply to seek a ruling that Mr X's competence and capability to give evidence as a witness in the commission be investigated, preferably by means of a medical inquiry into his mental or psychological state," said Mpofu, for the arrested and wounded Marikana mineworkers.

He said the rights of affected parties had to be protected.

"Mr X is a very important witness, and the issues he is pronouncing [on] are issues that are of a very serious nature. The allegations he makes in respect of certain people have far-reaching implications," Mpofu said.

Mr X started giving evidence on Thursday, when his face was revealed for the first time at the commission.

He testified that pieces of flesh were cut from one of two Lonmin security guards, Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani, strikers killed to bring to a sangoma (traditional healer) to make muti. This was supposed to make the strikers bulletproof in their confrontation with police.

"We killed them at the bus stop," he said on Thursday.

"We burnt one in the car and we took pieces of flesh from the other one. That would make our muti strong, so that we go forward when we attack."

Parts of Fundi were mixed with blood and burnt to ashes.

"We were instructed by the inyangas to stand in a line and the ashes were put in our mouth using a spoon which we licked and swallowed," Mr X wrote in his affidavit to the commission.

He also testified about "the killing and intimidation of Lonmin employees who were unwilling to take part in the violent strike".

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during the violent wage-related strike at Lonmin's platinum mining operations.

On August 16, 2012, 34 people, mostly mineworkers, were shot dead by police, who were allegedly trying to disarm and disperse them.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed during the preceding week.

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