The Presidency denied claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa interfered with the work of the State Capture Commission or the judiciary.
Ramaphosa would have officially received the Commission’s fifth and final instalment of the state capture report on Monday.
However, the handover has been pushed back after the commission said it faced challenges in processing the report.
In a statement by the presidency just after midnight on Monday, spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said it still had not received a copy of the final state capture report from the Commission.
“The commission stated that the electronic report will be submitted to the President on the evening of the 19th of June 2022. This did not unfortunately happen.”
Magwenya said Ramaphosa and Zondo discussed the matter in a telephone call on Monday and the Chief Justice offered reassurance on the delivery of the report and the coordination of the handover ceremony.
“The Commission’s team had informed the Presidency that the report will be finalised after the sitting of the Judicial Service Commission on Monday 20 June but not in time for the promised handover at 18h00 on the same day. No handover of the report can take place until and unless the Chief Justice has finalised his work.”
The delay in the release of the final report raised eyebrows for some political parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Leader John Steenhuisen called on Zondo and Ramaphosa to come clean over their meeting, saying the discussions were “wrong” and “deeply unethical”.
“This constitutes a dangerous and unacceptable interference in the judicial process which casts a long shadow over both the independence of South Africa’s judiciary and the credibility of the Presidency.”
The red berets said Zondo was overcome by his need to show that he is an ally and confidante of Ramaphosa.
“He foolishly exposed their compromised relationship, after he delayed resumption of the Judicial Service Commission Interviews for the position of Deputy Chief Justice, citing a call from his political principal Ramaphosa.”
“It was after this clandestine meeting, that it was revealed without any basis, rationale or cause, that the final part of the commission’s report will be delayed,” the EFF said.
Magwenya, however, dismissed the speculations by the DA, the EFF and other political parties.
“The Presidency, therefore, rejects claims that the President has in any manner interfered with the work of the commission or the judiciary as speculated by some opposition parties.
“Communication between the Chief Justice and the President has been over the delays in the delivery of the report and finalising the date for the official handover of the report.”
Ramaphosa has thus far received parts one to four of the reports with the first instalment handed over to the President by the Chief Justice, on 4 January 2022.
The second, third and fourth state capture reports were handed over on 1 February 2022, 1 March 2022 and 29 April 2022 to Director-General in The Presidency, Phindile Baleni.
Magwenya said a tentative date of Wednesday 22 June has been agreed upon to hand over the final report and will make an announcement once it has been received.