BREAKING: Zondo Commission granted extension

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond 'Ray' Zondo greets the commission before hearing testimony from Trevor Manuel and Siphiwe Nyanda, 28 February 2019. Picture: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA)

The North Gauteng High Court has granted a second extension to the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, giving the commission another year in which to complete its work.

The Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture has been given until the end of March next year to complete its work.

This after Judge Wendy Hughes, sitting in the North Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria, on Monday granted the commission another extension – this time to 31 March 2021 – and directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to amend the proclamation accordingly.

The judge, in handing down her ruling, accepted that the matter was urgent and granted the commission an extension of 13 months but marked it final.

Last month, commission chair and Deputy Chief Justice Zondo announced that he had approached the courts with an application for an extension to because the commission needed more time in order to be able to make proper findings.

The commission was announced in early 2018 and tasked with investigating allegations of state capture along with public sector corruption and fraud.

The commission began its work in August of that year and was initially given 180 days to wrap it up.

This is the second extension that has been granted.

Earlier this month, when the matter was heard, advocate Paul Kennedy – for the Deputy Chief Justice – told the court Zondo was considering two ways of limiting the commission’s work: By either asking the President to limit the terms of reference or farming out certain aspects for investigation.

The application proceeded unopposed but The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), which was listed as a respondent in court papers, did ask that the judge make this extension final.  The council reportedly said each extension locked in resources which could be instead be used by “bodies with a constitutional mandate to hold individuals accountable” and that the country needed to know how the commission would finish the remainder of its work “and by when”.

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