State Capture Commission to resume on Monday

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The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will resume its hearings on Monday. The inquiry will hear evidence relating to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

The Commission’s public hearings were halted due to national lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Commission has heard evidence from a long list of witnesses since it started in August 2018.

In February, the High Court in Pretoria granted the inquiry a final extension to continue proceedings until March 2021.

Briefing the media earlier in June, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said the commission will deal with what he called Phase 2 of issues about state-owned enterprises.

“Already, there is a lot of investigation that is under way by the investigating team in regards to the Public Protector’s issues. They are continuing with those and the evidence relating to that. That will happen as soon as we are finished Phase 2 in regard to the SOEs.”

In the video below, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo briefs the media on the work done by the State Capture Commission during the lockdown:

Zondo says witnesses will no longer be taken through their affidavits at the hearing.

The Deputy Chief Justice told the media that the application to force former President Jacob Zuma to return to the Commission is still pending before the courts, having been stalled by the lockdown. He adds that amongst those he wants to hear from is parliament in terms of how it played its oversight role.

Congress of the People (COPE) has welcomed the resumption of the Zondo Commission.

In October 2019, the Commission heard the testimony of the former head of Free State Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Peter Thabete on the controversial Vrede dairy farm project.

COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says they hope that more government officials in the Free State will testify on what happened to the millions of rands that were supposed to change the lives of farmworkers.

“We expect more senior leaders from the Free State who were close with Magashule to give evidence before the commission in this sitting. We call on all South Africans with information of state capture and corruption to approach the commission.”