Ronald Lamola Guptas

Minister Ronald Lamola. [Photo: GCIS]

State Capture: Lamola drops application for three-month extension

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola had argued that DCJ Raymond Zondo’s application is unconstitutional and wanted its costs to be capped

Ronald Lamola Guptas

Minister Ronald Lamola. [Photo: GCIS]

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has withdrawn his challenge to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s application for a three-month extension of the State Capture Commission.

Zondo has approached the High Court in Gauteng – seeking to have the commission extended for a fifth time.

“The withdrawal follows a reassurance that the matters raised by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will be attended to in due course,” said Lamola’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri.

Justice Dept and State Capture Commission to engage

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola sought to intervene, telling the court that Zondo’s application is unconstitutional – and further asked it to cap the commission’s future costs at R15 million.

“The director-general of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the secretary of the commission will engage in a process of ensuring that the continued work does not come at an extra cost,”

Justice Ministry spokesperson Chrispin Phiri

The State Capture Commission wants the High Court in Pretoria to grant it an extension to December. This would be its fifth extension.

The commission was first granted a two-year extension of its deadline from 1 March 2018, to 18 February 2020. A second extension of 13 months was sought from March 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. The third one was given from April 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021, while the most recent extension was obtained from 1 July 2021, to the end of September 2021.

The commission’s work was expected to come to an end, particularly after President Cyril Ramaphosa made an appearance.

“This exposure of the nature, extent and depth of state capture did not take place behind closed doors, but was broadcast to the entire country. By allowing all South Africans to follow the commission’s proceedings, it has helped to instill public confidence in our democracy in the way it promotes openness and transparency,” Ramaphosa said after his appearance.