Zondo: State capture commission will ask High Court for another extension

  • The Zondo commission of inquiry will approach the High Court for another extension. 
  • Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chairs the commission, briefed the media on Monday. 
  • Zondo said the commission needed to regain the three months it lost during the national lockdown.  

The chairperson of the state capture inquiry, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, says the commission will approach the High Court for a three-month extension of the inquiry.

The request will seek to push back the end date from the end of March until June 2021, Zondo said during a media briefing on Monday.  

"All we want is just to regain the three months that we lost as a result of the national lockdown," Zondo said.  

In February this year, Gauteng High Court Judge Wendy Hughes granted the commission its final extension, citing that, "... further extensions would not be warranted.

"The interest of justice dictates that finality be attained with findings, recommendations and a report of the commission. The commission owes this to the nation as the work of the commission is of national interest," the judge said at the time.  

The inquiry officially began in August 2018 and, since then, it has heard from 278 witnesses, and issued 2 736 summonses. 

During Monday's briefing, Zondo said between January and February next year, the commission would continue to hear oral evidence. 

This included evidence relating to parliamentary oversight, the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa.  

The date for the president's appearance was yet to be determined, Zondo said. 

Former president Jacob Zuma was also scheduled to appear for 10 days next year.

ALSO READ: The commission does not have enough time, Zondo says following more delays

On the issue of the Guptas not testifying, Zondo said the commission's report would be credible without their evidence. 

"A few weeks ago, the commission heard evidence relating to money flows. Mr Paul Holden [ a director of investigations at Shadow World Investigations] gave extensive evidence over a number of days, showing how money that came from SOEs [state owned entities] in the country, one of them being Transnet, took a journey into various entities connected with the Guptas and ultimately where that money ended. That is very strong evidence of the involvement of certain entities.

"So, I think that that evidence, apart from any other evidence, is going to be very critical in showing which entities actually got involved in getting money that came from SOEs under transactions that are alleged to have been corruptly concluded or irregularly concluded."

Zondo also added: "I think that in the end, the evidence that will have been led in the commission, will reveal that the evidence was credible and that its evidence that can be relied upon. So, the fact that the Guptas didn't come to South Africa to give evidence, I don't think in the end will assert the credibility of the report of the commission."

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