In a statement on Tuesday morning, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said that he never interfered with the work of the inquiry. He is also disputing that he had a meeting with the president on Monday.
Speculation is rife that the week-long delay of the release of the final state capture report could be due to nefarious reasons, with opposition political parties raising concerns about the credibility of the commission’s work.
Chief Justice Zondo said that the delays had nothing to do with interference.
Just after midnight, the Presidency issued a similar denial, stating that it rejected similar claims made by some political opposition political parties.
Instead, Zondo said that he wanted to go through the report to check for errors as part of the quality assurance process and using the extra time to comb through the report. Zondo also said he regretted any inconvenience caused by the delays and postponement of the report.
He also clarified that he did not have a “meeting” with the president as initially reported, despite the Presidency saying that Zondo and Ramaphosa held discussions about the “timing of the report” on Monday.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) described the “meeting” as inappropriate, describing it as akin to an accused meeting a judge to discuss the time of his sentencing.
The handover ceremony has now been scheduled for Wednesday in Cape Town.