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State capture inquiry seeks another deadline extension, this time to December

The state capture commission has gone to court to ask for more time to file its final report.
The state capture commission has gone to court to ask for more time to file its final report.
Image: Alon Skuy/ Sunday Times

The state capture commission has yet again requested a deadline extension to deliver its final report.

Commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo filed the request on an urgent basis at the high court in Pretoria on Thursday. He said that he needed until the end of December to file his final report - some three months after the already extended deadline of the end of September.

In his affidavit, Zondo said he had made an error in the estimation of how long the drafting of the first to third, and final, reports would take.

“When I made the assessment that my team and I should be able to complete the report by the end of September, I did so on the basis of the time I believed it would take to complete the first drafts and the time it would take for us to complete the second drafts and the third drafts,” he said in the papers.

The commission was established in 2018 and has enjoyed public interest throughout with witnesses coming forward to testify and assist the court in determining what happened with state funds.

“I need to point out that the amount of work involved under the different topics or workstreams is not the same. The work involves the preparation of summaries and analysis of evidence led over three years, in which more than 330 witnesses testified,” said Zondo.

This is about the fifth extension that the commission has applied for and flies in the face of finance minister Tito Mboweni, who had vowed there was no more money to fund the probe after its previous extension.

The costs of running the commission now stand at about R1bn  including paying exorbitant fees to evidence leaders and investigators, and other administrative costs.


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