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'Mr X': Miners used muti against me

'Mr X' told the commission miners in the gallery were using muti against him.

FILE: Crosses on the koppie in Marikana where 34 miners were killed in a standoff with police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A crucial witness in the Farlam Commission of Inquiry has accused miners in the gallery of using muti against him, prompting the commission to postpone proceedings until next week.

The miner, who turned police witness and is only known as, 'Mr X', began his in-camera testimony at the commission on Thursday.

His testimony is expected to implicate several other miners who were present during the strike.

He told the commission he was not well because the miners in the public gallery were using muti against him.

The witness said although he was testifying from an undisclosed location through a video link, he could still feel the effects of the muti.

Earlier, he explained the rituals the miners undertook during the strike in 2012.

He said traditional healers told miners not to listen to officers on the koppie and assured them of protection through muti rituals.

'Mr X' said miners paid traditional healers to perform rituals so they could be strong and to ensure they were protected from the police's bullets.

He said two live sheep were wrapped in sheets and put in a fire.

The liquid that emerged from the burning of the animals was used as muti for the men who were on strike.

He said the men cut their bodies with razor blades and were told not to listen to the police.

'Mr X' said the traditional healers told them this would help them in their fight for higher wages.

He has also testified that striking employees intended to kill and armed themselves with weapons.

He stated he was part of the group of protesters who intimidated, attacked and killed people in Marikana between 10 and 14 August 2012.

He explained the body parts of two Lonmin security guards who were killed were used to make muti which the miners believed would stop the police's firearms from working.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 striking miners were gunned down in the North West mining town on 16 August 2012.

Police claim they opened fire on the group after coming under attack.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

Commission chair Ian Farlam ruled earlier this year that the identity of 'Mr X'may not be revealed to the public, but only to relevant parties and their clients two weeks prior to his testimony.

Several people who were expected to testify at the commission have been killed since the hearings commenced in 2012.