Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: ALON SKUY
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: ALON SKUY

As political parties start their campaigns in earnest ahead of what is likely to be the hotly contested 2019 elections, the public hearings into state capture will resume  this week.

The commission of inquiry, headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, will sit on Tuesday.

Zondo will not hear oral evidence on the first day but deal with an application of a procedural nature in relation to some evidence to be heard in the coming days.

The rest of the week will be spent hearing evidence, but there are currently no particulars of witnesses who will testify.

Hearings in 2018 placed former president Jacob Zuma and the ANC at the heart of state capture, in part because of  Zuma's alleged actions and in part because of the party’s inability to stand up to him and his cohorts.

The clean-up of the SA Revenue Service (Sars), following the Nugent commission of inquiry, also continues as the hunt for a new commissioner takes precedence. The deadline for applicants is this Friday.

The post was advertised in December, after Tom Moyane was axed as Sars boss by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Acting commissioner Mark Kingon was reappointed, pending the appointment of a permanent commissioner by the president.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni will set up a panel to interview shortlisted candidates for the key post. A list of candidates, as well as recommendations on members of an interview panel, will then be submitted to Ramaphosa for his approval.

Once interviews, which will take place behind closed doors, have been conducted, the panel will recommend candidates to the president, who will then make the final appointment.

Retired judge Robert Nugent, who headed the commission into the tax authority, has urged Ramaphosa to urgently appoint a new commissioner and to follow an “open and transparent process that is subject to critical appraisal, but without compromising the urgency of the appointment”.

The DA will be holding its first federal executive meeting of the year, at which  it is expected to have discussions around its election campaign and its manifesto launch, which will be held in late February. The party is also expected to discuss its lists for national and provincial government ahead of the election.

The ANC held its manifesto launch at the weekend in Durban and is still finalising its candidate lists.

The DA has said its lawyers will serve the ANC with a cease and desist letter to stop the party’s “theft” of its election slogan “one South Africa for all”. The ANC has denied this claim, but the DA said it launched its election campaign in September 2018 with the slogan.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za