President Cyril Ramaphosa assured the public the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture’s report will be implemented once he receives it.
Addressing the media at the headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC) this week, Ramaphosa welcomed the Pretoria High Court’s decision to grant the commission, chaired by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, another extension three-month extension.
“The workload has been heavy on the Zondo Commission… on [Judge Zondo] himself I must say. [The extension sought was not] intentional or out of negligence, it’s much more about the objective and subjective conditions that they have to work under.
“It’s been the most rigorous process that we have gone through over the past three years. For them to have gone to ask for another period to finish their report I thought the court decided well to grant them the time,” the president said.
Ramaphosa further said that he was looking forward to receiving the State Capture report.
“I also look forward to the receipt of their report as it now it will come at the end of the year. Then we will be able to see what the judge would have come up with and implementation will ensue,” he said.
The ANC previously indicated it will prepare to address certain allegations against party leaders and other officials when the State Capture report is released as well as implementing its recommendations.
The commission’s extension application was heard in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday after Zondo had requested that he be given until 31 December to finalise the report.
It was the fifth extension that has been granted to the commission since its establishment.
According to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the extension could see the commission spending up to R35 million in order to complete its work.
The commission so far has spent more than R1 billion.
Zondo, who has heard evidence for 418 days, previously revealed that the commission had collected 71,000 pages in submissions from more than 300 witnesses ever since the inquiry began its work almost three years ago.
He argued in his papers that he sought the extension due to delays in the preparation of the first, second and third drafts of the analysis of evidence given by the witnesses.
The commission was announced in early 2018 and tasked with investigating allegations of state capture along with public sector corruption and fraud.
The inquiry began its work in August of that year and was initially given 180 days to wrap up.
However, it was granted a two-year extension of its deadline from 1 March 2018 to 18 February 2020 due to the scope of its investigations.
It was granted another extension from 1 March 2020 to 31 March 2021 due to the commission needing more time to be able to make proper findings, and disruptions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It then obtained a three-month extension until the end of June 2021 in order to complete its work.
The Pretoria High Court then granted the commission another extension from 1 July 2021 to the end of September 2021 to hear Ramaphosa’s final testimony, as well as to finalise its report.
Zondo said that there would not be a provisional report of the commission, saying only a final report would be released.