News: February 2013

27 February 2013

Mr Mzoxolo Magidiwana was called to testify by Adv. Dali Mpofu. Mr Magidiwana was one of the protestors who were shot by the police on the 16th of August 2012.

In his testimony, Mr Magidiwana said he arrived at 06:00am at the koppie on 16/08/2012. He said he saw people sitting around a fire, warming themselves up. They looked dirty and did not seem like they were coming from their houses; they seemed as if they had slept there. He said there was no particular pattern for sitting during the day and people sat wherever they wanted to. He confirmed that he could see himself on one of the video clips that were shown.
When asked if the clicking together of the weapons by the protestors on the days was a sign of aggression, Mr Magidiwana denied this and said this was done when they were tired of clapping their hands.

‘As we were leaving the koppie to go to Nkaneng, Mambush told me not to run but walk since we had done nothing wrong.’ A video clip of the initial shooting on the 16th August 2012 was shown and Mr Magidiwana confirmed that he was one of the people in the front who were shot; he was wearing a green blanket then.

‘When we were shot we had not yet reached the road to Nkaneng. I was not running but I only started when the shots started. While lying on the ground I was shot in the left arm and was ordered to remove the towel I was holding.  While lying there, there were people behind me who had been shot and they were shot again or finished off.’

According to Mr Magidiwana, the police then came to him and asked him things he did not know and I was shot again on my right thigh and abdomen. ‘I was asked about police weapons and about the inyanga and I was then shot in my testicles. One of the police officers said, “Leave him, he is just a child”. One of the policemen said their boss Mambush has died and they sounded happy. I then said they must just finish me off.

Later onwards when the photographers were taking photos of me, they asked if I was alive. After the ambulance arrived and I was loaded onto it, I then lost consciousness.

13 February 2013

Mr Tshepiso Ramphele, legal representative of the two murdered security guards, commenced with cross-examining Mr Zokwana. The Num president was asked why Num encouraged workers or its members to report to work despite numerous acts of violence and intimidation. Mr Ramphele further asked why Num didn’t approach Lonmin to excuse the Num members who were at risk. Why didn’t Num warn its members about the risk of violence? Mr Zokwana replied by saying that Num sent a statement on this issue. He said Lonmin complained that it did not have enough security personnel to deal with the situation. Num made a call for law enforcement to be stepped up. ‘Furthermore, Num has no right to tell a company to stop operations, and Lonmin should have made the call to halt operations.’

Mr. Zokwana said that Num is a caring union and that he has already contacted some of the families of the deceased and that once he was done at the Commission, he will personally visit the widows’ families to offer condolences.

When asked if he is a board member of Lonmin or any other company, Mr Zokwana vehemently disagreed and said that this is only a norm in Germany.

05 February 2013

National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana gave testimony and was cross-examined on his involvement in the Lonmin wage dispute. He said that his first concern was to save lives amidst all the killings. He emphasised that Num has been vocal against all kinds of violence and intimidation and that this was mentioned in all press conferences, media statements and interviews.

On Monday 13 August 2012, two police men and three striking workers were killed near the railway line. Mr Zokwana said that he did not hear a rumour that two striking workers were killed on Saturday 11 August 2012 at the Num offices. He said the first time he heard details of these alleged murders was on the SA-FM interview 15 August. Ms Barnes asked why Mr Zokwana accused Amcu and the caller who had said that two strikers were killed at the Num offices of lying. Mr Zokwana said that he was accusing Mr Mathunjwa and not the caller. He further explained that he was saying that Amcu was lying about the strikers having marched to the Num offices, as this was not on the way to the stadium.

Mr Zokwana also stressed that he never said Amcu was responsible for killing two security guards on Sunday 12 August. In the transcripts of the SA-FM interview, Mr Zokwana accused Amcu of all the killings. Mr Zokwana said it was his opinion that Amcu started the march and not that it was responsible for all the killings. He refused to withdraw his statement for having said that Amcu was responsible for all the killings and he says he said that Amcu was responsible for organising the march and not the killings.

He later on withdrew his statements. But he could not explain why he didn’t investigate the matter of the shooting at the Num offices in order to get true facts. He confirmed that he had heard that some Num members were not only part of the strike but were also leading it. Mr Zokwana said he didn’t take any steps to find out why they were participating because the strikers were united in brotherhood.