Casac files affidavit as it voices concern ahead of another Zondo Commission extension application

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Lawson Naidoo has argued for tighter control of State Capture Commission extensions.
Lawson Naidoo has argued for tighter control of State Capture Commission extensions.
Denzil Maregele, Gallo Images, Beeld
  • The Zondo Commission has launched an urgent application for another extension.
  • The commission has asked for an extension until the end of February 2022 to release its report in three parts.
  • The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution has filed an affidavit raising concerns about yet another application.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) has filed an answering affidavit registering its concerns about yet another application for an extension by the Zondo Commission.

On Tuesday, the commission filed an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

In his affidavit, the commission's chair and acting chief justice Raymond Zondo said that the commission would not be able to meet the deadline, which it previously asked the court for, to submit its full report on state capture to the president. 

READ | Zondo's state capture commission applies for yet another extension

In a responding affidavit, Casac's Lawson Naidoo said they would abide by the court's decision should it grant the commission another extension. 

"It delivers this short affidavit to assist the court in its determination of the seventh extension application; Casac also has participated in each of the six other extension applications brought by the commission to this court, and remains committed to ensuring that the commission fulfils its invaluable mandate effectively, despite its protracted lifespan," said Casac in its affidavit. 

In his extension application, Zondo outlined how the commission wanted to release the report in three parts, focusing on 17 work-streams identified during the commission's hearings.

He said the first report would be ready by the end of December and the second and third at the end of January and February. 

But in a scathing affidavit, Naidoo said that Zondo's affidavit had failed to provide the court with important clarity that would aid its decision, such as why only two of the 17 work-streams identified had been completed and which of the outstanding 15 work-streams would be completed in time for the 31 January 2022 deadline for part two of the report.

"The principles of accountability and transparency require that the chairperson provide the court with the necessary information to justify the granting of the relief sought. To date, no replying affidavit in response to Casac's affidavits has been filed in any of the previous six extension applications," said Naidoo. 

Of biggest concern to the organisation was that the commission had not provided clarity on what steps it had taken to share the evidence that it had collected with law enforcement agencies.

ALSO READ | 'Deeply concerning' - Casac laments Zondo Commission's planning after latest extension bid

In 2020, News24 reported that the president amended the State Capture Inquiry regulation, which would allow law enforcement agencies to access information.

"The process of collating and sharing evidence does not require the report to be corrected or proofread since those agencies will likely assess and evaluate any evidence sourced from the commission comprehensively for themselves and will not be bound by any analysis of it or findings based on it contained in the commission's report. This is the most important consequence of the commission's work, and it cannot wait a day longer," said Naidoo. 

The commission's application was expected to be heard on 28 December. 

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