A police witness, dubbed Mr X, will testify in camera, from a remote undisclosed location to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, retired judge Ian Farlam ruled on Tuesday (15/04/2014).
He told the public hearings that any publication of Mr X’s details will be prohibited.
“I make the following rulings: that the evidence of Mr X be presented in camera and by video link. That at all times during testimony of Mr X, one of the evidence leaders shall be present in the room which he testifies from.”
“Only the commissioners (of the inquiry), the parties, the legal representatives, evidence leaders and accredited media representatives shall be present in the auditorium during the testimony of Mr X,” said Farlam.
He said two weeks prior to Mr X’s testimony, the SA Police Service legal representatives at the commission shall disclose his name to the evidence leaders and all lawyers of all other parties.
The police should also provide photographs of Mr X to the evidence leaders and all other parties.
“They should also indicate to the evidence leaders and the legal representatives of all parties all points at which they have been able to identify Mr X on video footage of the events during the period 13 to 16 August, 2012,” said Farlam.
Farlam’s ruling followed an application by the police seeking the protection of Mr X, owing to safety reasons.
He was apparently part of the group of protesting Marikana miners who underwent a ritual which included two sangomas, the burning of live sheep and swallowing of the ashes on August 11, 2012.
The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West.
The police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mineworkers, wounded over 70, and arrested 250 on August 16, 2012 while trying to disarm and disperse them. – Sapa