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Mr X booked off ill

The police witness complained of stomach problems and was booked off ill for two days.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Police witness Mr X has been booked off ill for two days and will only continue with his cross-examination at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry when a date has been arranged.

The miner, a former Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union member who turned police witness and is only known as Mr X for his own safety, is seeking medical attention before he can continue being cross-examined from an undisclosed location.

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 at Lonmin's Marikana mine 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.

While his credibility has been questioned, Mr X insists that the miners planned to attack and kill the police at the North West Platinum mine in August 2012.

He claims he was part of the group of striking miners who destroyed property, killed people and planned to kill police before the 34 striking miners were shot dead.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr X complained of stomach problems and as a result, proceedings were adjourned for a brief period so that he could seek medical attention.

He was then booked off ill.

Advocate Dali Mpofu who is representing the miners, says Mr X has nothing to offer the commission because he has been lying and wasn't present during some of the events that unfolded at the mine.

He says there are several discrepancies in his testimony, adding that he has been unable to give details about crucial events that occurred in Marikana.

The commission will continue hearing evidence from Lonmin officials on Wednesday.

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.