Some people want the commission of inquiry into state capture to end, but Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he wants it to continue and properly conclude.
Speaking before the testimony of former Transnet chief finance executive Anoj Singh, Zondo said he needs more time – possibly up to September – for him to complete the task.
“I will not end the work of the commission in an irresponsible manner just because I want to satisfy those that demand the commission complete its work,” said Zondo.
The commission chair, who still needs to hear testimony from President Cyril Ramaphosa and six others, on Thursday said he would need the whole of August and possibly September to complete his report.
The long-running commission has revealed how taxpayers’ money was wantonly wasted or stolen.
So far, estimates by some media reports say R1,5 Trillion was siphoned from state coffers during the Jacob Zuma administration – some of the money has been returned.
In December, Zondo announced that US company McKinsey has agreed to pay back R650 million to Transnet and SAA for work it did on consulting contracts. Transnet has since demanded more cash back.
Evidence led at the commission showed how McKinsey worked alongside Gupta-linked Regiments Capital on nine contracts at Transnet from as early as 2012.
Regiments paid a portion of its fees directly to the Gupta-controlled Gateway.
A Red Notice has since been issued for the arrest of brothers Tony and Atul Gupta, who are believed to be holed up in Dubai. South Africa authorities want them extradited so they can face charges.
On Thursday, Zondo said he would apply to the high court for an extension to enable him to complete the remaining work.
“Of course, if the high court does not allow the extension, that will be that,” he said.
Zuma – a central accused in state capture – has refused to appear before the commission and his contempt matter remains before the Constitutional Court.
Former public enterprises minister, Malusi Gigaba who denies he was in the pocket of the Guptas, is scheduled to testifying on Thursday evening.