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'Mental state of Mr X must be assessed'

Dali Mpofu has brought an application to stop 'Mr X' from giving evidence.

FILE: Miners gather on the koppie in Marikana ahead of the anniversary of the shooting in which 34 miners were killed. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Advocate Dali Mpofu has brought an application to stop the mineworker known as 'Mr X' from giving evidence until his mental state has been assessed.

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.

The hearing was adjourned on Friday when 'Mr X' claimed he wasn't 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.

'Mr X' was expected to continue testifying this morning about the events leading up to the shooting but Mpofu, who is representing the surviving miners, says he must be sent for mental observation before he can continue based on the fact that he was unwell on Friday and accused miners of using muti against him.

'Mr X' has claimed that the miners armed themselves with traditional weapons with the intention to kill, that they were responsible for several murders and that they used muti believing that they would be protected from the police's bullets.

Last week, 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.