Justice minister
Jeff Radebe
 
Pretoria, South Africa — 25 September 2012 – A judicial inquiry into the shootings and violence at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa will begin on 1 October 1, and is scheduled to be completed within four months, says justice minister Jeff Radebe.

Fin24 reports that he told reporters here that public hearings on the matter would be held in the Rustenburg Civic Centre in the North West province.

“President Zuma has given very tight time-frames for this commission, namely of finalising its investigation within four months from the date of commencement of its work,” said Radebe.

Justice director general Nonkululeko Sindane said the start-up cost for the commission amounted to about R24 million.

Zuma announced the three-member judicial commission of inquiry last month to probe the mine violence in which 46 people died in Marikana. The commission will be chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam. It would consider, among other things, whether Lonmin responded appropriately to the threat of an outbreak of violence on its premises.

"These tragic incidents dominated our media space and also made news headlines internationally," said Radebe.

He added that Zuma deemed it important that the commission investigated the incidents, which were of public, national, and international interest, and made appropriate findings and recommendations.

The commission has been mandated to determine the roles played by Lonmin, the police, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Also, the commission will determine the role played by the Department of Mineral Resources or any other government department or agency, and the conduct of individuals and groupings in promoting a situation of conflict and confrontation which could have given rise to the shootings.

Radebe said Zuma would soon promulgate regulations which would confer powers on the commission to enable it to execute its task. “The regulations are in the final stages. They are expected to be released today,” he added.

Farlam has designated a counsel as evidence leaders who would evaluate and present evidence before the commission. The counsel consisted of advocates Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Mathew Chaskalson, Geoff Budlender, Johannes Nxusana, and Charles Wessley.

Radebe said researchers should start with their investigative work this coming week. “The commissioners have commenced with their work and have had a few meetings, including the meeting with involved parties,” he concluded.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.