DAYS OF ZONDO: NEWSFLASH

State Capture Inquiry seeks another extension to complete its work

By Suné Payne 17 June 2021

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Zondo Commission into State Capture. (Photo: EPA-EFE / KIM LUDBROOK)

On 17 June, chairperson of the State Capture Inquiry, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced he would seek an extension of the inquiry until September to allow for the hearing of six witnesses and President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as the completion of the inquiry’s report. 

Suné Payne

The State Capture Inquiry will file papers with the Pretoria high court to ask for a three-month extension, as six more witnesses and President Cyril Ramaphosa still need to testify before the commission’s final report can be written. 

Inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo made the announcement on Thursday morning as oral evidence resumed. 

Zondo said as things stood, “subject to one qualification” all oral evidence should be wrapped up by the end of June. However, that qualification is that six witnesses and President Cyril Ramaphosa would still need to provide oral evidence before the June deadline. 

This means that if the extension is granted the president won’t appear before the end of June, but rather in early July. Zondo said Ramaphosa would give evidence in his capacity as ANC president and president of South Africa. Ramaphosa previously testified at the end of April 2021. (Read Ferial Haffajee’s synopsis of Ramaphosa’s testimony here). 

Zondo said the president will rather appear after the six additional witnesses. “It’s proper that the president must be the last person to give evidence,” said Zondo. 

“Of course, if the high court does not allow the extension, that will be that,” said Zondo. 

The inquiry will apply to the high court for an extension until September 2021 to allow for the witnesses to provide evidence until early July and for the inquiry’s report to be prepared by the end of August. Zondo said the inquiry would apply for the extension until September, “in case we don’t complete the report in August”. 

This is not the first time the inquiry has applied for an extension with the courts. In February 2020, the inquiry was granted a 13-month extension until March 2021 — which was supposed to be the final deadline for work to be completed. In February 2021, the inquiry was granted an extension until June 2021 to complete its work. 

(See a report by Rebecca Davis, published in January 2020, ahead of the first requested extension: Where to the for the Zondo Commission in 2020) 

Addressing the public, Zondo said “I know that some within the public have grown impatient, demanding the Commission complete its work”. Zondo said he was very keen on completing the work of the inquiry, which started in August 2018. 

“I will not end the work of the commission in an irresponsible manner just because I want to satisfy those that demand the commission complete its work,” said Zondo, who added that he wanted the inquiry to complete its work in a methodical manner that provided fairness to those implicated in wrongdoing. 

Zondo said he wanted to be able to look back at the work of the inquiry with the assurance that “we acted properly and acted responsibly”. 

The inquiry continues on Thursday with former Transnet chief finance executive Anoj Singh testifying and former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba testifying in the evening session. DM

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All Comments 15

  • So – cr and jz and the anc will once again cost the taxpayers more money. This is really becoming a ridiculous situation. Can the honourable judge not make up his mind about how much time he needs? So many extensions just lead to more and more people believing that this commission, which gave so much hope initially, is also just an extension of state capture and a waste of money filling the pockets of ‘the untouchables’.

    • Don’t agree. Zondo Commission worth the cost. Public witness has already seen at least one crooked corporate pay back more than the Commission has cost the state, it’s becoming clearer by each sitting who manipulated tenders and how… and judging by the ANC’s payroll difficulties, tender kickbacks are drying up … def worthwhile

  • Judge Zondo has done an amazing job and so much has come to light
    More than anyone first envisaged
    This testimony from everyone is valuable and apart from its legal value , is cathartic for most of us
    Rather have it postponed for a little longer and finish the job properly
    And hopefully see Zuma there, that would be worth everything

    • It seems to depend on seniority but generally R25k and upwards per day. Recently an advocate wrote an article on how generous the advocates had been in discounting their rates for the commission. We all know at least one senior counsel that must have charged top dollar.

  • They still use the misnomer “testify” when they mean lie lie lie. Hopefully this will allow the Con Court enough time to jail the Idiot of Nkandla too.

  • An extension at what cost to those who bear it, the taxpayers?

    “I will not end the work of the commission in an irresponsible manner just because I want to satisfy those that demand the commission complete its work,” Wasn’t part of that responsibility ensuring that work is completed within timelines, budget?

    Elsewhere aren’t project leaders who fail to deliver on time penalized for that instead of being rewarded with extensions and future posts to head up more enquiries/ commissions etc?

    • I believe your position is an oversimplification geared to reaching a predetermined conclusion. JZ is not in complete control of witness behaviour. Neither is he in a position to predict testimony path. His work is in my opinion of great value to our country and deserves the time required proper closure.

  • Six more witnesses plus The President will cost a further R50 million! No, No, No. Publish the report, make recommendations and let the NPA do its job and start prosecuting. There’s much
    more to be spent on this nasty, seedy business if true justice is to be served.

  • One would have thought the VBS spectacle would have a showing seeing as a number of municipalities were involved. Good work there, Scorpio and Pauli!

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