The commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture could be extended for a further two years, following a high court decision to grant an urgent request from Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Justice Zondo — who is the head of the commission — launched an urgent application on July 19, requesting that the 180 days that the commission was initially granted, be extended so its work could be completed.
Zondo welcomed the decision of the court in a statement, saying it “brings relief to the commission, the secretary and his staff, the commission’s legal team and investigators since we are given more time to do this very important work of the commission.”
The 180-day deadline was included in the ‘
State of Capture’ report which was released by then public protector Thuli Madonsela in October 2016.
According to Zondo, when the 180-day timeframe would begin and end was not specified in Madonsela’s report, so the commission began the countdown on March 1 2018.
The application comes in the face of the looming deadline at the end of August.
Although the request for the two-year extension to be considered has been granted, the high court has called on various stakeholders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and the current public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and political parties, to come forward and present their cases if they oppose the extension.
The commission said it was important to give all concerned parties an opportunity to oppose the extension because the application was brought to the court without notice as the deadline is near.
Whether the time for the commission to do its work is going to be extended will be confirmed on October 2 2018.
“If the extension is confirmed on October 2, we will be able to really focus on our work without having to be concerned that in a few months’ time the commission may have to stop its work because the 180 days will be up,” Zondo said.
Read the full statement by the Commission of State Capture here:
Read the judgment from the Gauteng high court here: