One way a country can deal with a traumatic part of its history is by establishing an investigating commission. In South Africa in 1995, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to deal with the terrible truth of the apartheid regime. In Belgium in 1999, the Lumumba Commission was put into place to research the circumstances of the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the independent state of Congo. In this article, we compare these commissions. By hinting at some differences and similarities we will try to discover an overall framework. In this way we will give a deeper insight into the conditions necessary for a successful investigating commission.