The chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has revealed that the commission is preparing to request a three-month extension to complete its work after the Covid-19 lockdown put a halt to its activities.
Earlier this year, the commission was given an extension to 31 March 2021 by the North Gauteng High Court, with Zondo explaining that he had approached the court with the extension application because the commission needed more time to be able to make proper findings.
Addressing the media on Monday regarding the commission’s work, Zondo said the latest extension application would require the commission to conclude by June 2021 instead of March.
“The commission will be applying for a three month extension as the national lockdown interfered with the commission’s ability to conclude oral evidence so this is to make up for the time lost during that period.
“The extension period – April, May, and June 2021 – will be used for the preparation of the commission’s report while March should be the last month of oral testimony. So the remaining months will be used for report writing,” he said.
If granted, this will be the third extension that has been granted since the commission began its work in August 2018, when it was initially given 180 days to complete its work.
Meanwhile, Zondo revealed that the commission had called a total of 278 witnesses since its first hearings in 2018, with over 51,000 transcripts, 159,109 affidavits, 323 hearings, and 2736 summons issued in the process.
He further confirmed that the commission had spent R800 million to date on its work.
“I have always said that when people look at the money that has been spent on the work of the commission they need to remember that the terms of the commission are very wide. This a very important commission. Its work needs to be done properly,” he said.
Zondo said he did not anticipate costs ballooning with the time extension of the commission.
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