Zondo’s final report release postponed to Wednesday

The release of the already overdue final instalment of the Zondo commission report into state capture has been postponed to Wednesday.

The commission said in a statement on Monday that the presidency would announce the exact time for Wednesday’s handover. The official handover had been expected to take place later on Monday, after the commission said it would submit an electronic version to the president on Sunday evening.

“The final volumes of Part V and VI of the report are about 1 824 pages long. The

volumes themselves are seven in total,” the commission said on Monday. 

“In the interest of quality and reduction of unavoidable errors and as a result of calendar logistical problems, it has become necessary to allow for a responsible and proper completion of the conclusion of the report.”

The commission’s statement comes after the president’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, announced in a tweet on Monday that the report would be delayed to a later date. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo discussed the timing of the report handover that morning, Magwenya said. The discussion took place during the tea break of a Judicial Service Commission interview session, which was extended beyond the allocated 15 minutes. Zondo said he was delayed because the president needed to speak to him.

The report is expected to make findings on the State Security Agency (SSA), public broadcaster SABC, the Estina dairy farm project and the landing of guests to a Gupta family wedding at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Zondo was expected to submit the report by 15 June, as per an order by the Pretoria high court, which granted the commission an eighth extension to complete its work. The court previously gave Zondo until the end of April to submit the final report.

During his court bid for the six-week extension, Zondo said in an affidavit that he hoped it 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 chief justice missed his 15 June deadline, with the commission citing “certain challenges”.

The report’s impending release will come amid two major developments relating to the state capture saga, chief of which is the arrest of Atul and Rajesh Gupta in Dubai earlier in June. Together with former president Jacob Zuma, the pair were identified as the key architects of state capture by the Zondo commission
The report will also drop as Ramaphosa faces scrutiny over a criminal case opened against him by former SSA director-general Arthur Fraser, who himself has been implicated at the Zondo commission.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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