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Mr X: Miners wanted police to shoot them

The witness said Marikana workers paid R500 each for a traditional healer to make them invincible.

FILE: Striking Marikana miners on 14 May 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PRETORIA - Mr X, a crucial witness at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, on Friday said the miners wanted police to shoot at them.

Known only as Mr X for his own safety, the mineworker turned police witness spent a second day testifying about the violent August 2012 wage strike in the North West town.

President Jacob Zuma set up the hearing to determine whether police were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 striking workers were gunned down by police.

Mr X told the Centurion hearing about the rituals the miners underwent during the strike.

He said they all armed themselves with traditional weapons and started clicking them together.

"It was a way of hastening the effect of the muti so that the police would be in a hurry to shoot us."

The witness said miners in Marikana paid R500 each for a traditional healer to perform certain rituals which would make them invincible.

Miners burnt live sheep, cut their bodies with razor blades and took muti.

Mr X's testimony is expected to implicate several other miners who were present during the industrial action.

The hearing was postponed to Monday after Mr X fell ill.

He claims he is not feeling well because miners listening to his testimony are using muti against him.