Less than half of the top-secret security clearances needed by the inquiry into state capture have been granted, with the commission into its second month of hearings. This is despite an undertaking by minister of state security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the commission’s chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, that it would be completed by September 21. Top-secret security clearance would be crucial for the commission to do its work as it looks into malfeasance in which high-profile politicians, including former president Jacob Zuma, have been directly or indirectly implicated. Some of the information the commission is dealing with is classified, such as cabinet meeting information.

Zondo had to ask Ramaphosa to intervene in the matter earlier this year. He revealed in an application to extend the work of the commission to two years that one of the reasons for the extension was that the State Security Agency (SSA) had not issued the commission’s i...

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