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State capture inquiry has cost taxpayers R700 million so far

This is double the R350 million price tag that Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the inquiry had cost as of September last year.

The Zondo commission of Inquiry into state capture. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament has been told that the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture has cost taxpayers R700 million so far.

This is double the R350 million price tag that Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the inquiry had cost as of September last year.

The state capture inquiry recently resumed hearings after being forced to delay them due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

It has been granted an extension to wrap up its work by March next year.

Justice Department officials and National Prosecuting Authority head Shamila Batohi fielded questions on the inquiry while briefing Parliament's Justice Committee on their adjusted budgets on Wednesday.

The Department of Justice’s Nhlanhla Mthembu laid bare the cost of the state capture commission of inquiry since it started two years ago.

“R700 million has been spent to date with regard to the state capture [inquiry] since its beginning.”

Acting director-general of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jacob Skosana, spelt out the cost drivers of the commission.

“The cost drivers are the investigations component and the legal component. There’s a team of investigators, they are using very expensive equipment and they spend about R18 million a month on people and on IT. And the second cost driver is the legal team.”

A further amount of R42 million has been allocated to the commission in the department’s adjusted budget to sustain its investigations, for which Skosana said funding had run dry.

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