NATIONAL NEWS - The chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, says he does not expect members of the Gupta family to come back to South Africa.
“The fact that the Guptas don’t come, I don’t think it will affect the credibility of the commission. In the end there is evidence available from others, although it would have been great to have their evidence,” he said.
Addressing the media on Monday regarding the commission’s work, Zondo also revealed that the commission had called a total of 278 witnesses since the commission began its work in August 2018.
Zondo said over 51,000 transcripts, 159,109 affidavits, 323 hearings and 2736 summons had been dealt with by the commission in the process.
The chair confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa would testify before the commission next year. However, dates have not been determined.
Speaking of former president Jacob Zuma, Zondo said the commission needed to put questions before Zuma as some witnesses had given evidence that “raises questions” about him.
“If we didn’t have questions for him and he didn’t want to be heard, we may have left him alone, but there are witnesses who have given evidence that raises certain questions.
“He was the president of the country during most of the time when a lot of the things that the commission is investigating are alleged to have happened,” he said.
This is after Zuma’s attorney, Eric Mabuza, confirmed that he would not participate in the commission’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) bid to force him to appear before Zondo.
The commission wants the ConCourt to order Zuma to comply with two separate summons for him to appear before Zondo between 18 January and 22 January, and 15 February and 19 February
Zondo added that it was important that Zuma be questioned before any finding could be made as to whether or not he abused his presidential powers.
“There are witnesses who alleged that he played a certain role or certain roles with regard to certain matters. If, indeed, Zuma played the roles alleged it may be said that he abused his powers as president,” he said.
He also revealed that the commission was preparing to request a three-month extension to complete its work after the Covid-19 lockdown put a halt to its activities.