Panyaza Lesufi, Premier of Gauteng, on Monday appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the Marshalltown fire which claimed the lives of 74 people. Many people were injured and left homeless.
On August 31, Lesufi undertook to work with Ronald Lamola, the minister of justice and correctional services, to appoint a retired judge who can act as chairman of the commission.
Judge Sisi Khampepe was appointed chairman of the commission, assisted by adv. Thulani Makhubela and Vuyelwa Mathilda Mabena.
Khampepe recently retired as a judge of the Constitutional Court and currently serves as chancellor of the University of Pretoria.
Makhubela has over 26 years of legal and business experience. He has testified in several cases before the labor court, the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and the High Court as well as before several regional and magistrate courts. He also represented clients before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Mabena has been a community activist for many years. She has extensive experience in the public service and has served as a councilor in the Ekurhuleni Municipality. She was also a member of the mayor’s committee and led various environmental services.
“The commission will investigate the incidence of hijacked buildings in Johannesburg; what exactly caused the deadly fire in Marshalltown; and who is responsible for this tragedy,” Lesufi said.
The commission’s work will not overlap with the investigations into the cause of the fire carried out by the police and other law enforcement agencies.
“The issue of hijacked buildings is a crisis in Johannesburg. This requires drastic action,” added Lesufi. “A thorough intervention is needed to make sure that a disaster like the Marshalltown fire never happens again.”