State capture inquiry secures yet another extension
The North Gauteng High Court has again extended the term of the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture for a further three months.
The inquiry approached the high court on Wednesday on an urgent basis asking for a further extension to complete its report.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela granted the three-month extension. This was a day before the expiry of the term for the commission, which had already completed the hearing of oral evidence.
This is the fifth extension for the inquiry initially scheduled to sit for six months.
In his application to the court, acting chief justice Raymond Zondo said he was asking for the extension due to delays in the preparation of drafts of the analysis of witness evidence.
“When I made the assessment that my team and I should be able to complete the report by the end of September, I did so on the basis of the time I believed it would take to complete the first drafts, and the time it would take for us to complete the second and third drafts.
“Although some of the first drafts, under different topics, were completed by the end of July, most were completed in August, and some are being completed in September,” he said.
The inquiry has spent close to R1bn since it started its work in 2018.
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola initially tried to oppose the application for a further extension.
Part of his argument was about a lack of funds to give to the inquiry, but he withdrew his application on Tuesday.
He wanted the court to limit future spending on the inquiry to R15m.
Inquiry spokesperson Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela said he could not comment on the extension as the inquiry was waiting for the court order.