Zondo Needs More Time To Wade Through Evidence

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has again approached the high court in Pretoria to extend the term of the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption, and fraud in the public sector – including organs of state.

Zondo is asking the court to extend the inquiry to the end of December. The court has agreed to hear the matter on an urgent basis on 28 September.

The acting chief justice has warned that any of the respondents who object to his request risk bearing the costs arising from the matter.

In the past three years, the acting chief justice has asked the court to grant the inquiry an extension of the hearings on several occasions. 

Earlier this year in June, Zondo asked for a three-month extension from July to September.

After President Cyril Ramaphosa testified the inquiry was expected to wind down and prepare a report on its findings and recommendations.

The long running inquiry which cost taxpayers nearly a billion rand was expected to complete its work by the end of this month, but Zondo has asked the court to extend the term.

By December 2020 the commission had interviewed 278 witnesses and collected 159 109 pages and one exabyte of data as evidence.

Former President Jacob Zuma refused to complete his testimony at the inquiry saying Zondo was biased against him. 

As a result, the 79-year-old former president was slapped with a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court.

Zuma, who has been hospitalised for several weeks, was recently granted medical parole.

If the extension is granted, Zuma and others who have been fingered in the inquiry will have to wait a little longer to hear Zondo’s findings.