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Wednesday, 15 November 2023 20:07

Zondo defends his remarks on implementation of recommendations of State Capture.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has defended his decision to speak publicly on the implementation of the recommendations of the State Capture Commission.

Before his appointment as the chief justice, Zondo chaired the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption, and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State.

He released the final report last year, which painted a bleak picture of the current state of government.

Zondo also made recommendations that he believes can assist in getting rid of corruption in government if implemented.

He was recently criticised by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) for his continuous engagements in the media.

The criticisms came after the Interview he had with Newzroom Afrika where he shared his views on various topics, including the implementation of the recommendations of the State Capture Commission, judicial misconduct, and the pending arms deal corruption trial involving former president Jacob Zuma.

The interview came a week after the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council conference last week, where he expressed his views on the same issues.

The organisation believes Zondo's remarks in the interview crossed the boundaries of acceptable speech by judges.

Speaking in a discussion hosted by the Institute for African Alternatives in Cape Town on Wednesday, Zondo said he will not stop speaking on the work of the commission.

"I chaired the commission and did work that went on for five years, I made recommendations, I made findings.

"It is quite in order that when I am invited to speak in matters relating to the commission I do so.

"It is something very important for our country, and what is true is that in regard to matters that might fall outside of the commission that might be something else, but on matters that relate to the commission there can be no doubt that I can participate," said Zondo.

He refused to comment on criticisms by CASAC.

"I don't want to deal with the statement by CASAC because I haven't had access to the full statement.

"I think that anybody who wants to ask me about such things can do so at another time. 

The controversy over the interview is sure to embolden Zondo's critics, notably the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who were fiercely opposed to his appointment as Chief Justice.

At the time, EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo described the incoming Chief Justice as "a politically divisive force in South African society", and "a member of the judiciary who is prone to descending into the political arena when he is expected to exercise restraint".

Watch Live in the video below:

Video Courtesy of SABC.