Raymond Zondo. Picture: ALON SKUY
Raymond Zondo. Picture: ALON SKUY

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture will hear evidence for the first time on Monday since SA's national lockdown was imposed in March.

The inquiry, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, has to get to the bottom of allegations of state capture which was alleged to be behind the decimation of among other SA's SOEs and criminal justice institutions, which came at a huge economic cost to the country.

While Zondo and his team have continued working during the lockdown, which was imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, evidence has not been led. The deadline for the final report looms at the end of March next year. The commission started its work late in 2018.

For the most of this week, it will hear evidence relating to allegations of corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

Some of the witnesses expected to testify will be Popo Molefe, the former chair of the Prasa board, Martha Ngoye the head of the legal department at the company, an estate agent who sold property to a former official at Prasa or to an entity connected with such an official, as well as an attorney from a law firm.

Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu will on Wednesday release the outcomes of the consolidated local government audits — his last in the position, as his term comes to an end in November.

It is the first year in which the sanctions for material irregularities in municipal audits will be implemented.

Makwetu has briefed parliament on the outcomes, which indicated that the state of local government remains dire.

The outcomes come just more than a year before the local government elections are set to take place in 2021.

Elsewhere in local government, the city of Johannesburg, which is the biggest budget municipality in the country, will aim to pass its budget on Tuesday, a day before the next financial year takes effect. This could be challenging for the new government of local unity, as it will be the first budget it will have to pass in a council in which no party has an outright majority.

Over the past few years passing the budget in the metro has not been done in one sitting, as parties had to be brought on board.  

In parliament on Tuesday, the portfolio committee on justice & correctional services will receive a progress report on investigations by the Special Investigations Unit into a matter referred to it concerning the department of justice & correctional services. The committee will be briefed on mechanisms in place to facilitate co-operation between the Special Investigations Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority.

It will also be briefed on the operationalisation of the Protection of Information Act, as well as the capacitation  and resourcing of the information regulator.

On Wednesday Ryan Woolley, CEO of Insurance Claims Africa and Tshifhiwa Tshivhenwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of SA, will brief media on a proposed urgent settlement compromise after insurance companies were alleged to reject claims related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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