Presidency denies judicial interference amid delays of final part of state capture report.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Presidency has denied claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa has in any manner interfered with the work of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture of the judiciary as speculated by some opposition parties.
In a statement, which the Presidency said to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding on the matter, the Presidency had outlined the sequence of events with respect to the submission of the final part of the report of the commission.
It confirmed that, as at 11pm on Monday, it had still not received any form of copy of the final report from the commission.
The final part of the commission’s report was due to be handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa by 15 June 2022. The commission chair, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, communicated to President Ramaphosa on Thursday the delay and undertook to finalise the report as soon as possible.
The Presidency said this led to the media statement from the commission dated 18 June 2022 in which the commission stated that it was “not able to submit the final volume of its Report to the President on 15 June 2022, due to certain "challenges”.
"The commission further stated that the electronic report will be submitted to the President on the evening of the 19th of June 2022. This did not unfortunately happen.
"In the morning of the 20th of June 2022, Ramaphosa and Chief Justice Zondo held a brief telephone call in which the Chief Justice offered reassurance on the delivery of the report and discussed the coordination for the handover ceremony," reads the statement.
The commission’s team had informed the Presidency that the report would be finalised after the sitting of the Judicial Service Commission on Monday 20 June 2022 but not in time for the promised handover at 6pm on the same day.
"No handover of the report can take place until and unless the Chief Justice has finalised his work,” the Presidency said.
A tentative date of Wednesday 22 June 2022 was therefore agreed due to this further delay, and to Ramaphosa being scheduled to deliver the eulogy at the Official Funeral of King Zanozuko Sigcau on Tuesday, 21 June 2022 in Flagstaff, Eastern Cape.
The Presidency added that in its communication on Monday, the commission stated that “due to challenges in processing Part V and VI of the Report on time for the handover to the President by 18h00 today, 20 June 2022, it has been agreed to move the event to Wednesday, 22 June 2022 the original handover date in Cape Town”.
The Presidency said therefore it rejected claims that the President had in any manner interfered with the work of the commission or the judiciary as speculated by some opposition parties.
Communication between the Chief Justice and the President has been over the delays in the delivery of the report and finalising the date for the official handover of the report.
Ramaphosa has thus far received Part One to Part Four of the reports. The first part of the report was handed over to the President by the Chief Justice on 4 January 2022.
The second, third and fourth reports were handed over on 1 February 2022, 1 March 2022 and 29 April 2022 respectively to Director-General in The Presidency, Phindile Baleni.
The Presidency said it would make an announcement once it has received the final report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.