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The release of the final State Capture report delayed again – Presidency

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THE Office of the President said on Monday that the handover of the final report of the State Capture Inquiry has been delayed once again following an urgent meeting between President Ramaphosa and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Ramaphosa was supposed to receive the hard copy at the Union Buildings on Monday.

“This morning (Monday), President Ramaphosa and the Chief Justice discussed the timing of the handing over of the final Commission report. A new date and time for the handover will be announced soon,” said presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, in a tweet.

During the Judicial Service Commission interview for the deputy chief justice in Sandton on Monday, Zondo also confirmed that he received a message that the president wanted to “speak to him urgently” about the postponement.

The final instalment of the state capture report was expected to submitted to Ramaphosa on Sunday, according to the secretary of the commission, Itumeleng Mosala.

Last week, Mosala said that due to certain challenges, the commission was unable to submit the final part of the report to the President on Wednesday, the 15th of June, as scheduled.

This is the fifth and final instalment of the state capture reports.

The highly anticipated report is expected to deal with outstanding issues, including matters at the SABC and the State Security Agency.

The commission is also expected to make overall recommendations.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said the delay in the release of the final report of the State Capture Commission, as a result of a meeting between Ramaphosa and Zondo earlier today to discuss the timing of the handover, is ‘wrong and deeply unethical’.

Steenhuisen said this constituted a ‘dangerous and unacceptable’ interference in the judicial process which casts a long shadow over both the independence of South Africa’s judiciary, and the credibility of the Presidency.

“At a time when trust in the Presidency is at an all-time low, any suggestion that the President may be interfering with the independent work of the Commission or manipulating the timing of the report’s release is rightfully met with suspicion,” said Steenhuisen.

“It is unheard of for any individual, who is the subject of an investigation being conducted by the state’s law enforcement and judiciary, to be able to manipulate the content of an investigative report or the timing of its release. It is astounding that the President sees nothing wrong in attending this meeting. The delay of the court-mandated deadline for the release of the final Zondo Report, seemingly at the hand of the President, should set alarm bells ringing.:

He said the president has no right to delay or obstruct justice.

“One can only assume that President Ramaphosa is seeking to delay the release of the final Zondo Report for two reasons: because it directly implicates him in state capture, and because the timing of the release is inconvenient given the current controversy surrounding the theft of 4 million US dollars from his Phala Phala farm in 2020,” said Steenhuisen.

“I call on both President Ramaphosa and Judge Zondo to take the country into their confidence and urgently issue statements explaining the nature of their meeting, who initiated it, and why it was permitted to go ahead, given the evident conflict this presents with the principles of independence and justice.”

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