Still seeking justice or a waste of money? - SA reacts to latest state capture inquiry extension
The extension of the state capture inquiry has garnered mixed reactions online.
On Tuesday the Pretoria high court extended the inquiry by three months following an urgent application by its chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi ruled the inquiry has until June 30 to finalise its investigation report.
Mngqibisi-Thusi said her only concern was that when she looked at the number of witnesses who are yet to be called by the inquiry, there might be a further extension application.
The inquiry was initially intended to run for 180 days when it was established in 2018.
Last year it was granted a final extension and was set to end in March 2021. However, Zondo said even though the last extension was ordered by the court to be “final”, it should not tie the hands of the court.
He said factors had arisen that “were outside the control of the commission and could not have been anticipated at the time”.
Nearly R800m had been spent on the inquiry and its work, Zondo revealed in December last year.
Outstanding evidence still to be heard by the inquiry includes that of former president Jacob Zuma and former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba.
Zuma refused to appear before the inquiry last week after a Constitutional Court order compelled him to do so.
His lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said the former president was awaiting the outcome of a review for Zondo to recuse himself as inquiry chairperson.
Gigaba was apparently summoned by Zondo to appear before the inquiry from March 8 to 12, “presumably to help him separate fact from fiction”.
The former minister said he would appear even if it costs him his home.
Gigaba claimed he was shunned by the state after he requested that it pay his legal fees in preparation for his appearance before the inquiry.
“The state I was serving, the state which is spending R1bn on this commission, is refusing to pay the R1m my lawyers need to help me prepare for my appearance,” Gigaba said.
“I will, however, be appearing before His Lordship. This notwithstanding. Even if it costs me my home.”
On social media, many weighed in on the inquiry’s extension. Some said it should have not been granted because it is a waste of money while others said there was more corruption and state capture to uncover.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
The Zondo commission has been granted 3 months extension.🙆♀️— LesetjaMO (@MoLesetja) February 23, 2021
By the time Zondo and his buddies decide to close up this thing we would have incurred R3bn costs.
👌🏾 Those who tend to use delay tactics to avoid facing justice have been dealt another blow. Without any shame on this decision being a direct result of their action, they’ll go for the cost implications.— xolani ndimba 🇿🇦 (@XNdimba) February 23, 2021
Zondo Commission granted 3-month extension https://t.co/FzloMjmnOt
A lot more witnesses will defy Zondo by not appearing citing similar sentiments as President Zuma . Extension granted to the Comm.will be wasted resulting in an unfinished report. Or rather wasted 1billion . Zondo must pay from his pension. https://t.co/JvqiFHecfz— @ Rash (@Rashali9) February 23, 2021
Zondo Commission granted 3-month extension.— Vusi Sambo (@VusiSambo) February 23, 2021
The Rooibos-&-scones talkshop has now cost us over R800million & counting🤑
It’s unclear if the 3-month extension is sufficient to dig some convincing dirt on JZ & finally nail him for “State Capture”🤨🥱 https://t.co/AQ7uPPukAZ
State Capture commission of inquiry dedicated whole of last week for Zuma whom they knew wouldn't come and didn't have other witnesses to cover the time lost in between?— Nkanyiso Ngqulunga (@Nkanyiso_ngqulu) February 21, 2021
The commission is again wasting it's own time yet they want another extension.