The ANC is running out of time to hand over the complete records of its national cadre-deployment committee to the DA after failing in its appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to prevent their disclosure.
It has just five days to comply with the court’s decision in relation to the records about the process and decisions of its National Cadre Deployment Committee between January 2013 and January 2021.
The ANC had refused DA MP Leon Schreiber’s request for the access to information, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), to which Schreiber sought from the Johannesburg High Court to have such refusal “declared unlawful and invalid”.
In his judgment in February, Judge Willem Wepener said: “The evidence before this court goes much further. The supplementary affidavit, which was not objected to and which I permitted to be introduced, contains evidence which was placed before the Commission into State Capture (the Zondo commission).
The ANC president said it was inappropriate for activities of the Deployment Committee to be done in dark corners and he accepted that it should instead be done openly and transparently. The Deployment Committee documents, which were disclosed at the Zondo Commission, demonstrate not only that the Deployment Committee, inter alia, gets involved in judicial appointments, it recommended names of persons as judges or candidates for the Bench.”
Schreiber said the order meant the ANC would need to hand over all of the records requested by the DA, including meeting minutes, CVs, email correspondence and WhatsApp conversations of the committee dating back to January 1, 2013, when President Cyril Ramaphosa became cadre deployment chairman in Jacob Zuma’s administration.
“The SCA has vindicated the DA’s long-held position that it is illegal for the ANC to hide the way in which it interferes in appointments to the public administration in government departments, municipalities and state-owned enterprises.
“For over two decades, a small group of senior ANC figures have regularly met in smoke-filled backrooms at Luthuli House to corrupt appointment processes by ensuring that only ‘loyal cadres’ of the ANC are appointed to positions of power in the public sector. As a result, skilled and meritorious applicants are sidelined, with positions reserved on the basis of loyalty to the ANC. This is why the DA has long held that cadre deployment is the root cause of state capture, lack of skills, and service-delivery collapse in our country,” said Schreiber.
Enquiries to the ANC were not answered by the time of publication on Tuesday.
Local governance expert and research fellow at the University of the Free State, Dr Harlan Cloete, said while the DA had welcomed the judgment, it was “in the nature of all political parties to deploy”.
“The DA even deploys, (Tim) Harris from Wesgro was an example of such.
It’s somewhat inherent of (political parties) to deploy. The problem is when you deploy people who are incompetent and corrupt, then it's unethical. The poor governance that we have in our country, I think deployment is part of the problem and has eroded the integrity of the State.
“The problem comes when they don’t put the Constitution first but they put the party first. So to say that only the ANC deploys is a lie...they are all the same.
ANC learnt deployment from the Broederbond and it is part and parcel of the culture of this country, the same as corruption. Corruption is part of our country because of how it has been institutionalised and the ANC just took over the bad habits of the National Party,” said Cloete.