State capture commission witnesses get a reprieve ... for now
People accused of facilitating and aiding — or being witnesses to — state capture can breathe a temporary sigh of relief.
Those who were scheduled to answer before the Zondo commission of inquiry between next week and the end of April will now no longer do so because of the extension of the countrywide lockdown.
The commission has been on hold since mid-March after the coronavirus outbreak. It was due to resume next week.
Commission spokesperson Rev Mbuyiselo Stemela said that those who were meant to appear in the final 10 days of this month would be allocated new dates.
However, all those who have been given dates that fall outside the lockdown period, he said, would still have to appear — unless the commission decided otherwise should the lockdown be extended further.
“All persons who had been notified to appear before the commission during the period April 20-30 2020 are hereby notified that they are no longer required to appear before the commission during that period in the light of the extension of the lockdown to the end of April,” said Stemela.
“In due course they will be notified of new dates when they will be required to appear before the commission.
“Those persons whose dates of appearance before the commission fall outside the period of lockdown must note that, unless the commission notifies them otherwise, they are required to appear before the commission on the given dates.”
Stemela was unable to reveal the names of those who were meant to appear in the now-cancelled commission hearings.
When the commission took a break in March, it was dealing with Prasa-related testimony.
The likes of former Prasa board chair Popo Molefe gave evidence and heavily implicated former CEO of the state-owned passenger rail company Lucky Montana and businessman Roy Moodley as the main players in the state capture that took place at the state-owned enterprise.
Those who had been scheduled to appear to complete the Prasa-related testimony were another former board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama, whom the commission was told was going to implicate minister of transport Fikile Mbalula, among others.
Among others still meant to appear before the commission again is former president Jacob Zuma, who in January was let off the hook in a scheduled appearance after he submitted a medical certificate claiming he was not in good health.