South Africa: Rushing the Work of the Zondo Commission Would Be a Mistake


The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture can learn some important lessons from the 1987 commission of inquiry into police misconduct in Queensland, Australia.

The application to the high court by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to be granted a further extension to the term of the State Capture inquiry has once again focused attention on the utility of the Zondo commission, alongside its limitations. The Deputy Chief Justice has painstakingly argued the need for the extension of the term.

"If the relief sought is not granted by the end of February 2020, this will mean that the objectives underlying the commission and its work will be rendered nugatory," declared Justice Zondo in his affidavit to the court.

Justice Zondo is of the view that a further 10-month extension will be sufficient if the commission's proceedings are streamlined by focusing on the original issues listed by former public protector Thuli Madonsela in the 2016 State Capture Report -- and issues that may fall outside the Madonsela list, "but within the commission's terms of reference that I consider appropriate to be dealt with by the commission," stated the Deputy Chief Justice. The other issues will be left for the other...

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