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Zondo commission to ask high court for another extension

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Justice Zondo said the commission would ask for an extension from April to June

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips / African News Agency (ANA).

THE CHAIRPERSON of the state capture commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, says the inquiry will apply to the high court for an extension of its lifespan for a further three months.

Justice Zondo said the inquiry was well on its way to completing its work.

He was briefing the media on Monday regarding the work that had been done by the commission’s investigators and legal team over the past two years.

The high court had granted the Zondo commission an extension of its work until the end of March next year. Justice Zondo said that time would be insufficient for the inquiry to complete its work.

He said the lockdown, which was imposed in March, had disrupted the commission’s plans to complete hearing oral evidence in December and for the remaining three months to be dedicated to writing the report.

The inquiry was unable to hear oral evidence for three months this year, and because of this Justice Zondo said the commission would ask for an extension from April to June. That time would be dedicated to compiling the report.

Justice Zondo said work on multiple workstreams such as Eskom, Denel, Transnet and the SABC was mostly completed, and that only a few witnesses still needed to be heard.

He said that in January the inquiry would resume hearing Eskom evidence for a week, and from January 18, a week had been set aside to hear evidence from former president Jacob Zuma.

At the end of January, the commission will hear evidence on SAA. In February, the commission will focus on Parliamentary oversight.

No clear date has been set for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appearance, but he is expected to testify at the inquiry, Justice Zondo confirmed.

He said that so far since the inquiry began hearing evidence in August 2018, the commission had heard oral evidence from 278 witnesses. The transcript of evidence is more than 51,000 pages, and the affidavits and exhibits submitted amount to 59,109. The inquiry has heard evidence over 323 days and 2,300 rule 33 notices have been issued.

A total of 2,736 summonses have been issued.

Justice Zondo said most of the work had been done and that all that remained was finalising the remaining evidence and compiling the report.

“We have done quite a lot of work. With the SABC we have finished all the work except for one or two witnesses. Transnet, we have heard almost all evidence and only a few witnesses that have to be heard, and some are prominent ones,” Justice Zondo said.

Political Bureau