Mr X: Miners wanted to kill Lonmin reps

Evidence leader Advocate Geoff Budlender tried to discredit the testimony of the police witness.

Police open fire at protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana in the North West on 16 August 2012. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - A police witness on Thursday told the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that strikers planned to kill Lonmin mine representatives if they refused to give miners the salary they demanded.

The inquiry was set up by President Jacob Zuma shortly after 34 miners were gunned down by police during an August 2012 wage strike in Marikana in the North West.

The witness, only known as 'Mr X', said the strikers provoked and planned to attack police officers in the days leading up to the deadly shooting.

Mr X was cross-examined on Thursday morning.

Evidence leader Advocate Geoff Budlender tried to discredit his testimony.

The witness says workers planned to kill a Lonmin representative if managers refused the R12,500 wage demand.

Budlender argued the reasons Mr X had given for miners wanting to kill the police weren't true because officers never colluded with Lonmin to reject the salary demand.

The bloody shooting took place in 16 August 2012.

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

Ten people, including two security guards and policemen, were killed in the days leading up to the incident.

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

Commission chairperson 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.