280612: Deputy president of the ANCYL Ronald Lamola at the ANC Policy conference at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. He might also be facing disciplinary hearing after his utterances about president Zuma only looking after his hometown Inkandla. 270612. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu
280612: Deputy president of the ANCYL Ronald Lamola at the ANC Policy conference at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. He might also be facing disciplinary hearing after his utterances about president Zuma only looking after his hometown Inkandla. 270612. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Lamola withdraws application to challenge extension of state capture inquiry

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Sep 28, 2021

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JUSTICE Minister Ronald Lamola has backtracked on his decision to challenge Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's application for an extension of the State Capture Inquiry.

In a court application, intervening in Zondo’s application, Lamola expressed concern about the cost implications for another extension of the inquiry.

However, after initially opposing the extension application by Zondo, the Justice Department said on Tuesday that it was now withdrawing the application.

“The withdrawal follows a reassurance that the matters raised by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will be attended to in due course,” said Lamola’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri.

“The director-general of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the secretary of the commission will engage in a process of ensuring that the continued work does not come at an extra cost,” said Phiri.

The commission has requested a three-month extension, until the end of the year, to complete its final report, which will be handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The inquiry was granted a two-year extension of its deadline from March 1, 2018, to February 18, 2020. A second extension of 13 months was sought from March 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. The third extension was given from April 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021, and the most recent extension was obtained from July 1, 2021, to the end of September 2021.

In court papers, Justice and Constitutional Development Director-General Doctor Mashabane said Lamola’s application to intervene in the extension, came as funding comes directly from the budget of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, not National Treasury.

Mashabane said this would have a direct impact on the budget and financial planning of the department.

Mashabane emphasised that Lamola is not opposed to the application for an extension, but submitted that “a period of three months is excessive, given the fact that this is the fifth extension and that the extension has financial repercussions,” the court papers read.

In the submissions made, it states that the department approached National Treasury for funding, but no funding was granted.

“The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has not made provision for further funding and will have to find money to fund the Zondo Commission going forward,” said Mashabane.

Mashabane submitted that the Commission’s budget be capped at R15 million.

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