Zondo amends Cyril Ramaphosa's appearance dates, stretching commission hearings deep into May
State capture inquiry chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, has postponed the hearing for testimony by President Cyril Ramaphosa, which was scheduled for April 22 and 23.
Ramaphosa was due to testify on April 22 and 23 as president of the ANC. He was also scheduled to testify as head of state on April 28 and 29.
Zondo said Ramaphosa has requested a reshuffling of the dates owing to a commitment that makes it impossible for him to appear on April 22 and 23.
Zondo granted his request. “The president made a request in connection with the dates of 22 and 23 April because of some commitments that have arisen. I acceded to the request to change those dates,” said Zondo.
“The present position is that he will not appear on April 22 and 23, but will still appear on April 28 and 29. On those two days he will appear as president of the ANC.
“As president of the country, he will now appear on May 13 and 14.”
The change flies in the face of Zondo's own wish to wrap up oral hearings no later than the first week of May, a view he pronounced on this week on Tuesday.
The commission has been granted an extension to conclude all of its work, concluding the compilation of its report by end of June.
This means the commission will have about six weeks to focus on the writing of the report, that is if Ramaphosa becomes the last witness in his mid-May appearance.
Zondo expressed appreciation at the ANC for its co-operation with the commission which he believes is demonstrated by the seniority of leaders it has sent to the commission such as national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, who is testify on Wednesday.
“I appreciate that the ruling party is taking part in the proceedings of the commission and I am happy they sent a senior leader,” said Zondo.
“I was concerned last year when we invited all the parties represented in parliament and there was no response from a number of months, including from the majority party. But ultimately there was communication.”
Mantashe is on the witness box being grilled on parliamentary oversight as it relates to the ANC.