Marshalltown fire inquiry to rule on Makhubela recusal application

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The Commission of Inquiry into the fire that claimed the lives of 77 people in the Johannesburg CBD in August is expected to rule on Wednesday on an application for the recusal of one of the Commissioners, Advocate Thulani Makhubela.

Makhubela was appointed by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi to assist retired Justice Sisi Khampepe’s inquiry into the Usindiso building fire in Marshalltown.

The incident also left 60 people injured and dozens homeless.

The application was made following allegations that Makhubela posted xenophobic and pro-Operation Dudula comments on social media.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) brought the application where they accused Makhubela of making xenophobic remarks on the social media platform, X.

SERI also accused the commissioner of being closely associated with and actively supporting Operation Dudula, which is known for its views against foreign nationals.

The institute’s application for Makhubela’s recusal is also supported by residents of the Usindiso building and victims of the fire.

They are concerned that Makhubela might be biased during the inquiry.

The inquiry has been given six months to submit a report on all the possible causes of the fire.

VIDEO: Marshalltown Fire Justice’s Mametlwe Sebei on inquiry:

Report by Simphiwe Mabhena.