Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Thursday he would be applying to the high court for another extension of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture. The inquiry was due to end in June after it was granted a three-month extension by the Pretoria high court in February. The commission is already on a three-month extension, which was granted in February. The commission’s oral testimonies will come to an end in June. The commission’s chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, said they want an extension from July to September.
“As things stand subject to one qualification, we should have heard all oral evidence by the end of June that the commission considers important. The qualification is that there about five or six witnesses the commission considers important before the commission can properly conclude oral evidence. This is apart from the president.” President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to appear on the 29th and 30th of June to complete his testimony at the commission in his capacity as the president of the country.
Zondo said the other witnesses would not be able to appear before the end of June. Last month Zondo announced he was looking at the end of June for the president final testimony. When Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi granted the extension order in February she said she was satisfied the commission had made a case for the extension. Before that extension, when the commission had previously asked for an extension the court granted the request but ordered it to be the “final” one.
“Once we have heard all that evidence then that should conclude the hearing of oral evidence,” added Zondo. He said he was aware that there are people in the public domain who are demanding that the commission wraps up its work as soon as possible, but has been working hard to do that by doing evening sittings. Zondo said he would not rush to complete the commission’s work irresponsibly. The judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture has so far cost taxpayers about R830 million without any prosecutions, according to Rob Hutchinson, MD of public advocacy group Dear South Africa.