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Investigation into Johannesburg Fire Begins in October with Two-Part Commission of Inquiry



Marshalltown fire commission of inquiry

The much-anticipated Marshalltown fire commission of inquiry is set to commence its investigations next month. According to news24, the Gauteng government has officially released the gazetted terms of reference of the investigation, marking a crucial step in seeking answers about this devastating incident on 31 August.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, in an announcement on Wednesday, revealed that the commission would initiate its two-part investigation on 1 October, with a timeline extending until April 2024. The first phase will conclude on 30 November. The commission will submit its findings by 30 December. The second part of the inquiry will occur between 1 January and 31 March. The report is due by 30 April.

During the initial phase, the commission will delve into the circumstances leading to the fatal fire and the prevalence of hijacked building leases in Johannesburg’s inner city. The second phase will focus on recommendations based on the inquiry’s discoveries, the question of liability for the fire, and the resulting loss of lives.

Also read: SACC Holds Memorial Service in Remembrance of Johannesburg Fire Victims

Retired Constitutional Court Justice Sisi Khampepe heads the commission of inquiry, with Advocate Thulani Makhubela and former Ekurhuleni councillor Vuyelwa Mathilda Mabena working alongside her. Premier Lesufi emphasised that the commission would carry out its investigations independently, free from political interference, and separate from ongoing inquiries by law enforcement agencies, including the South African Police Service (SAPS).


The terms of reference highlight that when the commission possesses evidence or information that could impact existing or pending legal proceedings or investigations, it must handle such evidence to avoid adverse effects on these processes. The commission, composed of three core members, may also enlist additional assistance outside of its immediate team, and its members have the authority to inspect premises and seize relevant documents, provided they obtain a warrant.

Furthermore, the commission’s members are bound not to disclose any external evidence without Chairperson Khampepe’s written consent. The chairperson can permit witness cross-examination and their representation by attorneys if it aids the commission’s work.

Also read:

Forensic Pathology Digital Fingerprint System Identifies Additional Victims of Marshalltown Fire Tragedy

Picture: Facebook / Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG)


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