THE commission of inquiry into the violence and 46 deaths at the Lonmin Marikana mine will begin holding public hearings into the tragedy on October 1, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday.
The six-week strike at Marikana lasted for more than six weeks and was only resolved earlier this week. A month ago police shot and killed 34 workers and injured another 78 as tension at the Lonmin mine escalated.
In all, 46 people have been killed, and the labour unrest also spread to other mines.
Addressing a news conference, Mr Radebe said that the commission, headed by retired Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Farlam, had begun its work with meetings with the parties involved and the investigative work would begin next week.
He also announced that five top advocates had been appointed to lead evidence during the public hearings of the commission.
Mr Radebe said: "We will be guided by the commission regarding persons it may wish to appoint as investigators and discussions in this regard are at an advanced stage. It is anticipated that the researchers will commence with their investigative work in this coming week.
"The commissioners have commenced with their work and have had a few meetings, including the meeting with parties. Public hearings are scheduled to commence on October 1 2012. The commission will announce their directives and timetable soon to give details of its schedule for public hearings."
He said the Rustenburg municipality had made its civic centre available as the seat of the commission and public hearings held there would be beamed to the Marikana community hall so that those who were unable to travel to Rustenburg would be able to watch the proceedings live.
"The commissioners were taken to the civic centre yesterday to view the facilities and are satisfied with the premises. In addition to the venue in the civic centre in Rustenburg, the Rustenburg municipality has offered the Marikana Hall in the Marikana informal settlement for use by the commission," he said.
"The president will soon promulgate regulations which will confer powers on the commission to enable it to execute its allocated task. As with the terms of reference, the regulations will be published in the English, Sesotho and isiXhosa after they have been promulgated by the president.
"These regulations will enable the commission to conduct its work and investigation in a meaningful and proper way. The regulations will also empower the commission to gather evidence by conferring on it such powers as are necessary, including the power to enter and search premises, secure the attendance of witnesses and compel the production of documents."
The advocates named to lead evidence are Mbuyiseli Madlanga, SC; Mathew Chaskalson, SC; Geoff Budlender, SC; Johannes Nxusana; and Charles Wesley.