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‘Every hour counts’ - Zondo inquiry to make up for lost time on Monday

Testimony that was to come from Hawks boss General Godfrey Lebeya had to be postponed after Raymond Zondo questioned whether all of it fell squarely within the commission’s terms of reference.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Zondo during the first public hearing on state capture allegations in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture will be looking to make up for lost time when it resumes on Monday after oversights by its legal team meant it had to adjourn abruptly on Thursday.

Testimony that was to come from Hawks boss General Godfrey Lebeya had to be postponed after Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo questioned whether all of it fell squarely within the commission’s terms of reference.

Lebeya was set to testify on how he was sidelined by former national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

Zondo was concerned that the issues Lebeya raised had not been put to Phiyega, and that no further investigation had been done.

He blamed his legal team for failing to do its homework properly.

It was a frustrating day for the deputy chief justice who told evidence leader Susan Wentzel the issues around Lebeya’s evidence should have been dealt with and cleared up months ago.

“We shouldn’t have a situation where a day has been set aside for me to hear the evidence of a witness and then we can’t hear [him], and the day is wasted because there is a problem about whether the evidence of that witness falls within the terms of reference.”

Without hearing Lebeya’s testimony, the commission has had to adjourn for Friday as well, while Zondo said “every hour counts” for inquiry.

He has applied for the commission to get an extension until the end of December.

Unnecessary delays caused by the commission’s own inefficiency will make his case that much harder to argue.