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2 minute read
6 May 2021
6:20 am

R75m reprioritised for Zondo Commission to complete its work

News24 Wire

National Treasury has made R75 million available for the commission to continue its work by 30 June this year.

Deputy, now acting, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Neil McCartney

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola is hoping the Zondo Commission will complete its work by June.

He told Parliament the commission was squeezing the department’s finances as R75 million had to be reprioritised to fund the last leg of its work.

On Wednesday, Lamola and several senior officials appeared before the Justice Committee to present the department’s annual performance plan.

According to EWN, ANC MP Bulelani Magwanishe was among the MPs pressing Lamola for answers, questioning if 30 June would indeed be the deadline.

Lamola said National Treasury had made R75 million available for the commission to continue its work.

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He added the commission – which had cost almost R800 million – had become a little too costly, adding the department had to cut from some of its programmes.

In February, the Gauteng High Court extended the commission by three months, following an urgent application by its chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Zondo said the extension would be used for the preparation of the commission’s report, while March was expected to be the last month of oral testimony.

His application for the extension, which was not opposed by any party, was granted by Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi.

Her ruling was Zondo had until 30 June to finalise the commission’s investigation report.

Zondo previously argued the commission had been prevented from hearing evidence for three months due to the lockdown.

Over R800 million spent

In July last year, it was reported that R244.5 million had spent in 2018, the year the commission was established and R111 million the following year.

The commission has spent a total of R830 million after it was allocated an additional R130 million to complete its work by March 2021, on top of the R700 million it had spent by then.

With the commission now having been granted a further three-month extension until June 2021, many South Africans wonder if the officials implicated in the various corruption scandals will ever be held to account.

The commission initially began its work in August 2018 and was initially given 180 days to wrap it up.

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Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa