Zondo hopeful state capture inquiry will be extended to December
'We are asking for an extension until the end of December'
State capture commission chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo believes his application to the high court for an extension of the commission’s lifespan will be successful.
The commission, meant to come to a close next month, has applied for an extension until December 2020.
Zondo said although he did not want to preempt the outcome of the application, he was hopeful the extension would be granted.
This emerged on Monday when Zondo dismissed an application by advocate Khumbu Shazi for evidence related to corruption in law enforcement agencies to be postponed as it would prejudice her clients, who are due to appear in court for criminal proceedings in the same matter.
Zondo dismissed the application, among other reasons on the basis that if he granted it, the commission would need to make another application for another extension as no one knew when the criminal case of her clients would be concluded.
“The commission's lifespan goes up to February this year, unless the court grants this commission an extension. We have applied to the court for the extension of its lifespan, but we do not take the attitude that the court will grant us the extension just because we have asked for it," said Zondo.
"The court will take into account everything and we should not take anything for granted. I believe the application the commission has made has prospects of success, but I am not the court," he said.
“The commission has been hearing evidence for one-and-a-half-years. It has been two years since it was established and it needs to try and finish.
"In the court application that has been made for the extension of the commission’s lifespan, we stated that we are asking for an extension until the end of December. If I grant the order you are asking for, I may as well forget about finishing this year.”
Zondo has been at pains lately about requests for postponement of witness appearances.
Last week, he granted permission for former president Jacob Zuma's request not to appear at the commission next week, citing illness.
Zuma's lawyers told Zondo their client would only be medically fit to appear in March.
Zuma was this past weekend spotted in a jovial mood at the ANC national executive committee meeting in Irene, Pretoria.