Zondo commission seeks another R90m to complete its work

Raymond Zondo. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The state capture commission of inquiry needs an additional R90 million to complete its work, according to Justice and Constitutional Development Director-General Doctor Mashabane.

Mashabane made the revelation during a briefing with the Justice and Constitutional Development portfolio committee in Parliament on Friday.

R75m from January to March

On Wednesday, Minister Ronald Lamola told the committee that the inquiry, which is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, had received an extra R75 million.

This is despite Finance Minister Tito Mboweni emphatically telling Parliament recently that the Zondo commission will not receive more funding from National Treasury.

Mashabane told the committee that the R75 million only covered the period between January and March. In February, the high court extended the inquiry’s term until the end of June.

The Department therefore asked the inquiry how much it needs to cover its costs until the end of June and it came up with the R90 million amount.

Mashabane added that the Department has now approached National Treasury for this amount, adding that it had already “scraped around” to raise R75 million through reprioritisation from its own budget.

“We can only hope that it will not be more than R90 million, and that [the] R90 million will help the commission complete its work by [end of] June,” Mashabane said.

Zondo commission’s total costs likely to be R965m

The commission had already used R800 million to cover its costs in December 2020. Should it get the additional R90 million, it would have used R965 million since it started its operations.

National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane agreed to help the Justice Department reprioritise its budget to find R75 million for the commission in February.

However, he expressed concern at some of the commission’s costs, including the salaries of its lawyers which he said should be reviewed.

The inquiry started in August 2018 and was initially expected to complete its work within 180 days.

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