President Cyril Ramaphosa’s meeting with Chief Justice Raymond Zondo about the delayed release of the State Capture Commission’s final report was ‘deeply disturbing’ and ‘completely inappropriate’, according to Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen.

Having indicated that it would release its final report yesterday (after missing a 15 June deadline), the Zondo commission secretariat announced it would now be released tomorrow, according to News24.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, confirmed that the president and Judge Zondo discussed ‘the timing of the handing over of the final commission report’ yesterday morning.

A statement from commission secretary Itumeleng Mosala did not shed much light on why the report’s release was delayed.

It said: ‘The commission would like to inform the public that due to challenges in processing Part V and VI of the report on time for the handover to the president by 18:00 today, 20th June 2022, it has been agreed to move the event to Wednesday, 22 June 2022 the original handover date in Cape Town. The Presidency will announce the exact time for a Wednesday handover.

‘The final volumes of the Part V and VI of the report are about 1 824 pages long. The volumes themselves are seven in total. In the interest of quality and reduction of unavoidable errors and as a result of calendar logistical problems, it has become necessary to allow for a responsible and proper completion of the conclusion of the report.’

But Steenhuisen said the meeting between Judge Zondo and Ramaphosa was ‘deeply disturbing’.

He said ‘extensive extensions [were] given to the Zondo Commission to produce these reports … But it now emerges there was an opportunity where the president and Judge Zondo met to discuss the timing of the release of this report’.

‘Because we all know that Mr Ramaphosa himself appeared before the Zondo Commission, that Mr Ramaphosa himself could well be implicated in this final report. And, therefore, it is wholly inappropriate and deeply unethical, for somebody who is the subject of the report, whose party is the subject of the report, to be meeting with the judge, to discuss the timing of the release of the report.’

Steenhuisen said both the president and Judge Zondo ouight to take the country into their confidence and explain the reasons for the meeting and why the report was delayed.

Steenhuisen added: ‘Because in the absence of that explanation, it’s going to look increasingly like this report is being managed and massaged because the Phala Phala [controversy] has now created inconvenient timing for Mr Ramaphosa to be facing any further allegations.’