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Marikana shop ran out of pangas

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A Marikana shop owner ran out of pangas and axes, after demand for the items increased during unrest in the area, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday."There was a sudden great demand for pangas, axes, and hatchets from 11 August," Marikana general dealer Mohammed Cassim said in a statement.

Vuyani Ngalwana, for the police, read the statement to the commission.

"I usually kept at least 30 pangas in the shop at a time, but they ran out in no time and I had to go buy more stock."

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is probing the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, in August.

Cassim's statement, together with that of a "Mr Y", was submitted to the commission on Tuesday. Cassim said it was the first time he had sold so many weapons.

"From the time I had been operating this business, this was the first time I had sold so many pangas, axes, and hatchets within a week."

He said customers usually wrapped the pangas in newspapers before leaving the store.

At that time the buyers, however, snuck the weapons into their pants and jackets.

Attacks

Mr Y's statement detailed how he was attacked on his way to work, stabbed several times, and left for dead on 13 August.

He survived and identified two of his attackers.

"These statements are meant to supplement [North West deputy police commissioner] General William Mpembe's latest testimony to this commission about how people in the area continued to be attacked and robbed during the unrest," Ngalwana said.

Farlam said the commission would decide whether Cassim would be called to testify.

The hearing continues.

 - SAPA

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