The terms of reference of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, appointed by President Jacob Zuma two weeks ago to investigate the deaths of 44 people at Marikana, was meant to be gazetted last Friday but was not done so due to a "minor glitch". It will now be gazetted this Friday, according to Justice Department Spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga. The department has a 14-day deadline to appoint an evidence leader and investigators and also decide where the commission will be located.
Mhaga said the hearings would in all probability be a public process, as has been the case with previous judicial commissions, such as the Hefer, Khampepe and Nicholson inquiries. When he announced the members of the commission, Ian Farlam, Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj, and their terms of reference, Zuma said the inquiry should be completed within four months and must submit its final report within a month of concluding its work.
But considering the scope of the work of the commission, as well as added dimensions such as the protracted detention and torture of the mineworkers and tampering with the crime scene, the inquiry looks set to be swamped with submissions from all the parties under investigation as well as a range of interest groups.