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Zondo Commission applies for another extension to December

Briefing the media on Thursday, deputy chief Justice Raymond Zondo said if the commission is not granted an extension, it wouldn’t be able to make any findings.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday, 8 October 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced that the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture has applied for another High Court application to extend its period to December this year.

Briefing the media on Thursday, Zondo said that if the commission was not granted an extension, it wouldn’t be able to make any findings.

“If we are not granted an extension, I don't think we can make findings, it would be a disaster. I hope we will be granted an extension,” he said.

Alternatively, the deputy Chief Justice said the commission could request President Cyril Ramaphosa to narrow the terms of reference to the Public Protector’s report, which established the commission.

The commission was initially granted an extension to February 2020, but Zondo said that time was now inadequate to finish its work. He said the commission had so far heard evidence from more than 150 witnesses and sat for more than 190 days.

WATCH: State capture commission asks for another extension to December 2020

Meanwhile, Zondo said with what he had heard so far from witnesses, the commission would need years to investigate all the corruption in the country.

“There is a lot of corruption and I believe that even with what the commission has seen, I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

The deputy chief justice said there had been no objections filed to stop the extension, but the High Court In Pretoria still had to issue its decision.

He said even if the Guptas and former President Jacob Zuma never appear before him the inquiry would be able to make its findings.

“It may well be that even if they came, they wouldn’t give a lot of information. We would have preferred to have their evidence [but] they chose that they are not going to give us their side of the story. This will not stop this important work, we’ll hear from everybody and make findings,” he said.

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