“Let me start where I should start and where I should start is to apologise … I apologise to you, Mr President, for keeping you waiting. I apologise to all of you for keeping you waiting.”
So saying, Chief Justice and commission chairperson Raymond Zondo handed over the fifth and final instalment of the Zondo Commission Report to President Ramaphosa at a ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria at about 6.30pm — two and a half hours later than scheduled.
Addressing the media at the official handover ceremony, Zondo said his team had had sleepless nights finalising the report.
“There were certain challenges but we were determined that the handover should happen today. I really appreciate your patience and understanding. For the past more than two to three hours. I really apologise,” Zondo said
He said the delay was not intentional and was unavoidable. The report was originally meant to have been delivered at the end of April, but Zondo applied to court for an extension of time.
The court granted him an extension to last week but again, he gave the presidency reasons why the commission could not deliver the report.
The work of the commission comes to an end after over four years of hearings, hundreds of witnesses, thousands of summons and over eight million pages of documents. The commission also cost taxpayers over R1bn.
It has implicated dozens of high-profile business people, companies, SOEs and politicians. South Africans didn’t learn a lot more than we already knew, but watching the testimony of the perfidious and hearing the mind-numbing details, we were still shocked.
How President Ramaphosa is going to deal with the possible fallout is the $(6)4 million question.