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S/Africa: Graft inquiry gets extra $5m funding to complete work

South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola announced on Wednesday that his government would provide US$5 million in extra funding to…

South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola announced on Wednesday that his government would provide US$5 million in extra funding to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture to enable the body continue its work of unearthing the extent of corruption in the country’s state agencies.The extra funding follows the recent extension of the commission’s deadline by the North Gauteng High Court to conclude its deliberations by June 30, the minister told the Justice and Correctional Services Parliamentary Committee in Cape Town.

Lamola said the funding was requested by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chairs the commission.

According to Lamola, Zondo cited the effects of lockdown restrictions and a need to call more witnesses as some of the reasons why he needed a time extension and the extra funding after spending more than US$53 million since its inception two years ago.

“We want a situation where there is finality of the work of the commission of inquiry. We have already [allocated] a lot of money. We cannot abruptly end the commission’s work. The commission has to end by giving us a report,” Lamola said.

The minister, however, warned the commission to finish its work before the June deadline in accordance with the court order – having enjoyed a previous extension but failing to complete its deliberations.

“We want to see the commission finish its work because not doing so affects our programmes. This is because some of the money that we use in extra-funding the commission is cut from some of our programmes,” Lamola said.

He added: “We are beginning to feel the squeeze of resources. So it’s important that it (commission) must finish its work.” 

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