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'Injury renders Marikana miner sterile'

A miner says he can no longer father any children due to injuries sustained during a police attack.

Police officers monitor Lonmin protesters on a koppie during their illegal wage strike in August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

RUSTENBURG - A Marikana miner can no longer father any children due to the injuries he sustained after being attacked by policemen during the wage strike outside Lonmin Mine in August last year.

Mzoxolo Magidiwana on Wednesday continued his testimony at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, about how he managed to survive on the day 34 miners were killed during a clash with police.

He was shot several times and beaten allegedly by police when violence spiked in the mining town on 16 August.

His lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, read out the miner's statement about events on that fatal day.

"He still feels severe pain from the wounds on his legs and testicles. He may never be able to father any children. It is so sad."

Magidiwana has been accused of being in possession of a firearm that was stolen from police a few days before the shooting.

Police evidence alleges he was shot after being spotted firing at officers assigned to disperse the protests at the koppie.

But Magidiwana says the police are lying, because he has never held a firearm in his life.

Yesterday, he described how the beatings he endured drove him to beg police to end his life.

Inquiry commissioner Ian Farlam and his team will try and identify if police were justified in using maximum force on the miners gunned down.

They will also determine what role workers, unions, government and mine management played in the violence.

About 3,000 miners at the time embarked on an illegal strike in protest of higher salaries, but it was only once blood had been shed that a wage agreement was reached.

PLANS TO MOVE MARIKANA INQUIRY VENUE

Farlam will meet with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to consider an application to change venues for the Marikana inquiry.

Mpofu submitted an application yesterday that was unopposed by other parties.

He said travel logistics and a lack of funding is making it difficult for legal teams to continue working in Rustenburg.

He said saving costs on transport and accommodation could help stretch resources.

A venue in Pretoria is being considered.