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‘Striking miners planned to kill NUM members’

The Marikana inquiry heard how the flesh of two security guards was used to make their muti stronger.

FILE: Mr X said they used the flesh of the Lonmin security guards to make their muti stronger. Picture: Gia Nocolaides/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Marikana Commission of Inquiry on Thursday heard striking miners planned to kill National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members in the area in August 2012.

Known only as ' Mr X', the striking mineworker turned police witness, testified about the events that led up to the deadly August 2012 shooting in the North West town.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to determine whether officers were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 striking miners were gunned down.

The witness said the miners didn't want unions involved in their wage-related strike.

Mr X admitted to being involved in intimidating and injuring workers.

Lonmin security guards, police and workers who didn't participate in the strike were targeted before the 16 August bloodbath.

He gave chilling evidence, saying they used the flesh of two Lonmin security guards to make their muti stronger.

The witness said the muti would stop the police's firearms from working.

Striking workers also decided to arm themselves with spears, pangas and knives in order to kill the NUM members who were escorting people to work.

"We then decided to make a song and the song said, 'How are we going to kill NUM?'"

Earlier, he said he was aware the strike was unprotected but he did not fear losing his job.

Mr X said the miners agreed to demand a R12,500 basic monthly salary and excluded the NUM from the meeting because it failed to advance the rights of workers.

The witness could be seen on a screen at the Centurion hearing, but testified from an unclosed location for his own safety.

His testimony will continue tomorrow.