The strikes started in August at the mine in the northwest of the country as police opened fire on some protesters, killing 34 workers. Report says an additional 10 people died in the protests, including two police officers.
The investigation stable is out to verify the role played by the police, the management of the Lonmin, platinum mine, the union and the government. The commission led by Ian Farlam retired Supreme Court of Appeal judge consists of a three-member panel which has as objectives to look at the various behaviours of individuals or groups involved in conflicts and confrontations.
The result of the investigation is expected within four months and a final report must be submitted within a month of finishing its investigation by the judge in charge. The proceedings are being held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, near the scene of the shooting where a giant screens will be set up close to the scene of the shootings to allow relatives and friends to follow proceedings closely.
During weeks of unrest at the platinum mine a total of 46 people died in the violent protests which took place and only 44 deaths are being investigated since two deaths were not in the range of the inquiry. The 16 August killings were know to be one of the most deadly police action since the end of apartheid in 1994.
During the proceeding video recording of the police shooting the striking miners may be used as evidence. Thousands of others miners have refused to work in a wave of strikes throughout South Africa since the violence at the mine while others striking miners at the Marikana mine agreed to return to work after accepting an increase in their pay of 22%.
According to Amnesty, the safety of the witnesses is very important and if they have enough resources to support those providing evidence to the inquiry. They also mentioned that many witnesses will need financial support to involve with the commission for example to get legal advice and transportation.