DA stands firm on deadline for ANC

The Constitutional Court had given the ANC until 5pm on Monday to release its cadre deployment records to the DA.

The Constitutional Court had given the ANC until 5pm on Monday to release its cadre deployment records to the DA.

Published Feb 19, 2024


The ANC’s legal strategy team held an urgent meeting on Sunday after the DA rejected the governing party’s request to grant an extension of Monday’s deadline to comply with a Constitutional Court judgment which ordered it to hand over the full records of its cadre deployment committee.

The Constitutional Court had given the ANC until 5pm on Monday to release its cadre deployment records to the DA. Legal experts had warned that ANC leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, could be held in contempt for non-compliance with the court’s order to hand over the full records of its deployment strategy.

DA leader John Steenhuisen, during the launch of his party’s election manifesto on Saturday, said the ANC had asked to be given extra time to deliver the records but this had been refused.

“You will comply with the Constitutional Court’s order by handing over these records by 5pm on Monday. If you fail to do so, the DA will use the precedent set in the Zuma case to go back to court for a contempt order that includes prison time for each and every one of the ANC’s leaders.

“The ANC is so desperate to hide Ramaphosa’s cadre secrets that they are now threatening to trigger a constitutional crisis to protect him — just like they did with Zuma,” said Steenhuisen.

In terms of the judgment, the ANC must hand over all meeting minutes, CVs, email threads, Whatsapp discussions and other relevant documents relating to the cadre deployment committee.

The DA approached the courts using the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to get the ANC to reveal how the deployment committee made appointments. It accused the governing party of running the country into the ground because of its cadre deployment policy which puts people in top positions based on their loyalty to the party, rather than on merit or skills.

ANC national media liaison officer Mothusi Shupinyane Ka Ndaba told “The Mercury” on Sunday that the party would make public the way forward after its legal strategy team held a meeting on Sunday.

“A statement will be issued if that is determined to be the strategy,” he said.

Reports indicate that the party would find it difficult to comply with the court order as it had no records of its deployment committee meetings and decisions because no minutes were taken between 2013 and 2018. The only records available are the incomplete minutes the ANC provided to the state capture commission of inquiry.

Other reports indicate that the ANC’s then deputy president and head of the deployment committee, Ramaphosa, kept no records of the committee’s engagements and it was only during former deputy president David Mabuza’s tenure that the committee took minutes.

Ramaphosa chaired the deployment committee until he became president of the party in December 2017, while Mabuza was chair from 2018 to 2020.

DA MP Leon Schreiber made the PAIA request in February 2021 and this was followed by a judgment in the Johannesburg High Court, in terms of which the ANC was directed to hand over the records.

The ANC sought leave to appeal this judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal but it was turned down. The Concourt similarly turned down the leave to appeal application.

Schreiber said the ANC had had enough time to find the records.

He said the ANC lawyers had contacted the party’s lawyers and requested an extension of the deadline until this Friday, February 23, but the DA said there would be no extension as the process had been delayed for more than three years.

Schreiber said this was another delaying tactic by the governing party.

Political analyst Ntsikelelo Breakfast said the issue of cadre deployment was cited in Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s report on State Capture as one of the factors that had contributed to the institutionalisation of corruption.

“My view is that cadre deployment is not a bad thing because politics and administration are like two sides of the same coin. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two environments, the political and also the administrative environment.

“I do not think that the decisions that were made to deploy people should be hidden, because democracy is about accountability; it is about transparency, and that information must not be hidden from the public.”

Breakfast said the issue around cadre deployment was whether it added value to governance or not.

“I do not think it is wrong to deploy people at a strategic level as long as they have the qualifications and the experience that is needed,” he said.

The Mercury

Related Topics:

ANCDAcourt cases