The state capture inquiry has assured the public that its chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, was in good health and not showing any Covid-19 symptoms.
This comes after Zondo shelved oral public hearings for this week when an inquiry staffer, who worked closely with him, tested positive last Friday. Proceedings were abandoned halfway through the testimony of former Eskom boss Brian Molefe following the positive test result.
Inquiry secretary Prof Tumi Mosala said: “The commission is happy to inform the public the chairperson is in good health and has no symptoms associated with Covid-19. He is busy with the work of the commission in his place of isolation and will be back when the hearings resume next week as his period of isolation will have ended.”
When Zondo returns on Monday, the inquiry will be dealing with evidence related to the state security agency for the entire week.
Among witnesses expected to appear during the week is a masked witness who will implicate Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama in alleged corruption and money laundering.
The inquiry will battle to find a slot for time lost during Zondo’s isolation, a week that was set aside for the appearance of scandal-prone former president Jacob Zuma, who had told the inquiry he would not appear even if Zondo was available.
The inquiry will also need to find a new date for Molefe, whose evidence was cut short last Friday, and two other former Eskom executives, Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh, also have to be allocated new dates.
The inquiry still awaits a high court ruling for an application it put in for the extension of its lifespan to June 2021. It was meant to close shop in March.