R14.8m paid to house Zondo commission
Cape Town - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has revealed that R14.8million has been paid to a media company and property group for the housing of the Zondo commission of inquiry.
De Lille revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question posed by EFF MP Mgcini Tshwaku, who quizzed De Lille on contracts signed with the companies as well as the duration of the contracts and amounts paid to date.
In a written response, De Lille said up to R1.2m was paid monthly towards rental costs of offices as well as the auditorium from Tiso Blackstar and Redefine Properties.
“The total amount paid to date is R14837975.97,” she said.
A breakdown of the costs shows that monthly rental for offices at Tiso Blackstar building was R72 846.52 and the rental of the media company’s auditorium was R796 950, bringing the total to about R870 000.
The monthly rental of offices from Redefine Properties was R374 900.61. De Lille said the lease agreement between the government, Redefine Properties and Tiso was signed between May and July last year.
“The lease agreements with Tiso Blackstar were signed for 12 months and have been extended for a further period of seven months. The lease agreement with Redefine was signed for three years,” she said.
Last year, former president Jacob Zuma appointed the State Capture Commission of Inquiry as part of a remedial action called by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng appointed his deputy, Judge Raymond Zondo, as the chairperson of the commission. However, the housing of the commission at Hill on Empire, a building owned by Tiso Blackstar, has attracted criticism from some quarters, especially the EFF.
Two months ago, a group calling itself Concerned South African Citizens added its voice to the matter, saying: “The commission could itself be captured, or be beholden to certain interest groups and financial commitments.”
But Zondo has maintained that the building was chosen after an unsuccessful search for a suitable venue.