A year after Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed over the six-part report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State, he will deliver the keynote address at a colloquium hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on Thursday.
The academic conference and meeting of the minds entitled Post Zondo: The Future of Democracy, will feature presentations by a Cabinet minister, senior government officials, Zondo, HSRC researchers, and leading civil society actors.
The state capture report, released in six volumes over a number of months, was finally released in 2022 after four years of evidence being led.
Commission chairperson, Zondo heard testimony from about 300 witnesses, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, and had to peruse more than eight million pages of documentation.
The costs of the inquiry totalled to around a staggering R1 billion.
According to the invite extended by the HSRC, the colloquium is intended to mark a seminal moment in the country’s trajectory, coming after the initial dust of the Zondo Commission has settled, as key figures in the state capture narrative are brought to book, and as the country heads towards a general election in 2024.
“It presents an opportunity for ‘we the people’ to take stock of what has happened and to begin to chart a way forward that has the best interests of all who live in South Africa at heart,” the invite read.
The HSRC stated that the colloquium has three purposes:
– to reflect on state capture and the findings of the Zondo Commission in a public arena outside of the courts;
– to gauge public appetite for democracy as the best form of governance for South Africa;
– and to read the mood of South African influencers, which include politicians, business people, civil society activists, academics, and investigative journalists, who have been standard-bearers for the democratic project.