Durban — Civil society group Real Democracy says Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s telephonic communication in the midst of the handing over of the final State Capture report, the suspicious delays as well the president’s Farmgate saga, have made it lack credibility.
The group’s leader, Srini Naidoo, was speaking to the Daily News just after Justice Zondo handed over the last two bundles of the report to the president in Pretoria last night.
Naidoo said that as much as his organisation understood that Justice Zondo was constitutionally obliged to hand over the report to the president, it should not have happened to save the credibility of the report, since the president had been compromised by the unexplained storage of millions in foreign currency at his Phala Phala farm.
Naidoo has questioned the delay in handing over the report and has likened it to a parent waiting for a school report from his son while his son and the principal have locked themselves in an office, suspiciously doctoring the result, saying it would thus be difficult for the parent to believe it was a credible report.
He said the State Capture report's credibility was further dented by Justice Zondo himself, whom he also described as compromised.
“This report now lacks credibility. The fact that both the compiler and the recipient are compromised renders the whole exercise a fuss. I can tell everyone implicated will take the report for a review,” Naidoo said.
There were dramatic delays prior to the handing over of the report.
It was initially supposed to be handed over on Friday but the handing over was postponed to Monday and then again to Wednesday.
Even the venue was changed at the last minute as it was initially said the handing over would take place in Cape Town but was later moved to Pretoria.
Both Justice Zondo and the president defended the delays and their communication, saying there was nothing sinister.
Without explaining what had caused the delays Justice Zondo said it was unavoidable.
The president said the chief justice had called him to let him know he was no longer able to deliver the report on Friday.
After receiving the report, he said he would submit it to Parliament before its recommendations were implemented but promised that by last night the public would be able to download it from the Presidency’s website.
The Commission of Inquiry into state capture apologised for the delay and assured South Africans that Justice Zondo wanted to look into the report before handing it to Ramaphosa.
Before receiving the final instalment, the president had received Part One to Part Four of the report. The first part of the report was handed over to the president by the chief justice on January 4, 2022.
The second, third and fourth reports were handed over on February 1, 2022, March 1, 2022 and April 29, 2022, respectively, to the director-general in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni.
The delays prompted opposition parties to question the motive behind them and said they suspected the report was being edited.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, on Tuesday, called the delays ”factional and suspicious”.
In a statement, the EFF said that this was an indication of Justice Zondo and Ramaphosa’s compromised relationship.
“This successive delay, after Arthur Fraser has made damning allegations of Ramaphosa’s involvement in money laundering, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice, gives credence to the claims that the report is being altered in order to cast doubt on the credibility of Arthur Fraser,” said the party.