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Ramaphosa, Mkhwebane to have say on extension of state capture inquiry

President Ramaphosa, the Public Protector and several political parties will have an opportunity to oppose the finalisation of the order on 2 October.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane releases the report on investigations into financial corruption and planning for Nelson Mandela's funeral on 4 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PRETORIA – President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Public Protector and several political parties will have an opportunity in October to argue why the state capture commission of inquiry should not be extended by another two years.

Chairperson of the inquiry, deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced on Tuesday that he had obtained an interim order in the High Court in Pretoria to extend the 180-day limit to conclude the process.

Former President Jacob Zuma established the commission in March, following a High Court ruling which ordered him to comply with the Public Protector’s remedial action.

Zondo’s office says one of their challenges was that it was never indicated on which date the 180-day time period had to be calculated from, which meant that there was no certainty as to when it would expire.

Zondo brought the application last week but without notifying interested and affected parties due to the urgency of the matter.

President Ramaphosa, the Public Protector and several political parties will have an opportunity to oppose the finalisation of the order on 2 October.

Zondo filed the application ex parte, which means interested parties were not afforded an opportunity to make submissions or oppose the matter.

The court has handed down an interim order and has given Ramaphosa, the Public Protector and various political parties, including the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters, an opportunity to argue why it should not be made final.

The order extends the 180-day deadline referred to in the Public Protector’s remedial action by a further 24 months, calculated from 1 March.

Zondo said the extension brings relief to the commission staff because they’ve been given more time to do the important work.

He says if the extension is finalised, the commission staff can get on with their work without worrying about a looming deadline.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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