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Mpofu: Mr X mentally unstable

The Marikana inquiry heard an uncomfortable exchange between the advocate and a police witness.

FILE: Advocate Dali Mpofu who is representing miners and families of the deceased at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Sapa.

CENTURION - Advocate Dali Mpofu on Monday suggested police witness, Mr X, is mentally unstable and all his evidence must be disregarded.

He made the comments at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the August 2012 killings in Marikana.

The commission was set up by President Jacob Zuma to determine whether officers were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 striking Lonmin miners were shot and killed on 16 August 2012.

Mr X is testifying at the commission against the miners who took part in the violent strike in the North West.

The witness, whose identity has been protected for his own safety, claims workers killed several people with the intention to attack the police.

He was referring to the 10 deaths shortly before the deadly shooting.

Mpofu, who is representing the miners, tried to discredit Mr X's testimony, saying he fabricated evidence to support the police's case.

The witness in turn lashed out at Mpofu, saying he is not being respected.

Mr X insisted he was telling the truth and was offended when the advocate questioned his mental state.

"I'm putting this in the kindest possible way," Mpofu began, "You are in a bad mental and emotional state."

Mr X simply responded, "You are insulting me, Mr Mpofu."

The lawyer says there are several inconsistencies in Mr X's statement and wants the commission to disregard all his evidence.

At the time, police claimed they opened fire on the group after coming under attack.