President Cyril Ramaphosa will formally receive the fifth and final Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector, including Organs of State, later today.
The Presidency will publish the final report shortly after it is presented to the President by the Chief Justice and Commission Chairperson, Judge Raymond Zondo. The handover of the report will take place at the Union Buildings.
The commission was supposed to hand over the report to Ramaphosa on Friday, but it was postponed to Monday, and finally, it will happen today.
That led to a number of South Africans and political parties raising concerns about the unprecedented delays.
The commission apologised and assured South Africans that Zondo wanted to look into the report before handing it to Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has thus far received Part One to Part Four of the reports. The first part of the report was handed over to the President by the Chief Justice on 4 January 2022.
The second, third and fourth reports were handed over on 1 February 2022, 1 March 2022 and 29 April 2022, respectively, to Director-General in The Presidency, Ms Phindile Baleni.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) yesterday called the delays ‘factional and suspicious’.
In a statement, the EFF said that this was an indication of their 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.
The party further said that Zondo denied Fraser an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses at the commission, effectively denying the nation an opportunity of understanding the inner workings of the capture of the state, and Ramaphosa, who is criminally accused by Fraser, lack the impartiality to handle a report which pertains to the State Security Agency.
While Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said that the delay constituted “a dangerous and unacceptable interference in the judicial process which casts a long shadow over both the independence of South Africa’s judiciary and the credibility of the Presidency.”
Steenhuisen said that at a time when trust in the Presidency is at an all-time low, any suggestion that the President may be interfering with the independent work of the Commission or manipulating the timing of the report’s release is rightfully met with suspicion.
“It is unheard of for any individual, who is the subject of an investigation being conducted by the state’s law enforcement and judiciary, to be able to manipulate the content of an investigative report or the timing of its release. It is astounding that the President sees nothing wrong in attending this meeting. The delay of the court-mandated deadline for the release of the final Zondo Report, seemingly at the hand of the President, should set alarm bells ringing,” he said.