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State capture inquiry chair and future chief justice Raymond Zondo will file a fourth but not final section of the commission's report on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Picture: GCIS
State capture inquiry chair and future chief justice Raymond Zondo will file a fourth but not final section of the commission's report on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Picture: GCIS

The penultimate section of the state capture inquiry report is due to be handed over to the presidency on Thursday afternoon in a closed ceremony at the Union Buildings.

Details as to its contents are scant, however one source speculates Zondo’s fourth filing concerns state-owned power utility Eskom alone.

Business Day understands officials in the presidency and commission were in discussions throughout Wednesday in anticipation of a late afternoon submission the following day. Printers were preparing to publish a hard copy of the fourth but not final set of findings, running to about 800 pages in length.

The presidency has previously issued advisories with details on the handover of reports to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Within several hours of the three handovers since January, soft copies of the various volumes have been uploaded online.

On January 4, Zondo submitted a first report of more than 850 pages to Ramaphosa amid pomp at a ceremony attended by the justice minister, inquiry secretary and the presidency’s director-general.

That report comprised three volumes covering SAA, Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age and the revenue service.

Ramaphosa undertook to present to parliament an action plan for implementing recommendations within four months by June 30. The date has been pushed out, since a high court order granted the inquiry an extended lifespan until the end of April, when the final report must be filed.

Ramaphosa emphasised that, while the balance of the report was pending, SA’s institutions could act on Zondo’s findings and recommendations of the report. “This report enables us to up our tempo in the fights against state capture,” said Rampahosa.

During his February 4 interview before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for the role of chief justice, Zondo explained why he filed the report in dribs and drabs. By December he knew he would not meet the deadline, and anticipated a public outcry if nothing were delivered. By then, he said, some inquiry work was complete.

The second report covering state-owned enterprises Transnet and Denel was submitted on February 1, in a more muted handover.

The third tranche of findings, sent to the presidency on March 1, focused on scandals at the company Bosasa. Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe, former minister of environmental affairs Nomvula Mokonyane and Bosasa seniors including former COO Angelo Agrizzi and executive director Papa Leshabane were among those fingered.

Others implicated in Zondo’s submissions to date include the Guptas, former president Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane, former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni and former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, to name a few.

The inquiry’s critics have highlighted absent provisional reports over the four years of its existence, a cost to the public purse in excess of R1bn, protracted duration and creeping scope, alleged prejudice against certain witnesses — among them former spy boss Arthur Fraser — and timidity when questioning Ramaphosa among alleged shortcomings.

Between the penultimate and ultimate reports Zondo must tackle many outstanding subjects of investigation. They include: three allegedly corrupt projects (Estina, a housing audit and an asbestos audit) in the Free State during the tenure of the suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, law enforcement with special emphasis on the the state security agency and crime intelligence, SA’s passenger rail service, closure of Gupta-linked bank accounts and the attempted capture of the Treasury, and the bigger picture.

batese@businesslive.co.za

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