Finish by D-day: Mboweni makes it clear Zondo Inquiry won’t get more money

He was speaking at a briefing after delivering his Budget speech on Wednesday afternoon.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is seen during a session of the commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg on 16 November 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has made it clear there will be no new money granted to the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

He was speaking at a briefing after delivering his budget speech on Wednesday afternoon.

The High Court this week granted the commission a three-month extension after it said it had lost three months’ work due to the COVID-19 hard lockdown.

It must complete its report by 30 June but it will have to rely on the Department of Justice and Correctional Services for any further funding.

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Mboweni said he Zondo commission must now get on and finish its work.

“We made it very clear when we extended the R63 million to the commission of inquiry into state capture that as far as we were concerned, that was the amount that they must use to finish their work and close out and finish.”

Mboweni expressed concern about the commission’s repeated requests for more time to complete its work and compared it unfavourably to the inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation, which has long since delivered its final report.

“This perpetual extension of inquiry into state capture is not really conducive – they must finish their work.”

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Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane told the briefing that any additional funds to cover the Zondo commission’s three-month extension would have to be reprioritised from the Department of Justice and Correctional Services’ own budget. Treasury would assist with this, he said.

The Zondo commission has been described as the most expensive judicial inquiry in South Africa’s democratic history, with its total cost, as of last October, set at just under R800 million.

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