The Pretoria high court on Thursday granted the Zondo commission a six-week extension to complete its report on state capture — its eighth extension to date.
The urgent application was, like the last one in February, unopposed.
Zondo approached the court last week, asking for leave to hand the fifth and final chapter of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa by 15 June.
The chief justice cited difficulty in completing the work on one of the remaining topics to be covered in the report, without specifying which one.
“One is that the topics that my team and I have had to deal with under Part IV of the report have given us serious challenges in terms of getting drafts to reach a point where I am happy with them. They have taken us about five weeks more than what I had thought they would take us.
“So, we have taken much longer to complete Part IV than I had thought we would take. This necessarily means that we need more time for the remaining topics.”
He undertook to hand the fourth and penultimate part of the report, consisting of more than 1 100 pages, to Ramaphosa early this week, but this has yet to happen.
It includes his findings, Zondo told the court, on the capture of Eskom and attempts to capture the treasury, the closure of the Gupta brothers’ bank accounts and the Free State housing and asbestos scandals.
The final part of the report will include the commission of inquiry’s findings on the State Security Agency, public broadcaster the SABC, the Estina dairy farm project and the landing of guests for a Gupta family wedding at the Waterkloof air force base.
Zondo said these findings were already in draft form and he hoped that this would be the last extension he would seek to complete the writing of the report.
“To the extent that the commission may complete its report within the six additional weeks if this honourable court grants the extension, the only other extension that the commission may apply for would not be one to enable it to complete the report, but one which the commission may need to wrap up administratively,” he said.
The third part of the commission’s report covered the state’s corrupt dealings with Bosasa and its recommendations included that Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe should be probed for corruption.