President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Ramaphosa questioned about ANC cadre deployment as he takes the hot seat at Zondo Commission

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 28, 2021

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the ANC cadre deployment strategy has been the victim of opportunism and factionalism.

Speaking at the Zondo commission on behalf of the ANC on Wednesday, he faced questions on the ANC's cadre deployment strategy.

The deployment has been criticised for the quality of individuals deployed to certain government positions who may lack the needed qualifications, skills and experiences to serve.

Ramaphosa, who previously chaired the party's deployment committee from 2013 to 2017, said the committee makes recommendations on which individuals can be deployed to various government roles. He said sometimes the committee does not get its wishes, as the final decision lies with the government.

He said the committee does not get involved in appointments in the judiciary or law enforcement, but its focus is on certain government roles such as premier positions, director-general roles and MEC appointments.

The committee does not involve itself in cabinet appointments - a process the president undertakes on consultation with the party.

At its creation, the deployment committee was founded to help transform government appointments that were previously male- and white-dominated when the new dispensation took over in 1994, Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa attempted to explain that deployment was encouraged to stay within the requirements in that when a government position appears, ANC members may be encouraged to apply. He said this did not negate the necessary processes of appointment.

Advocate Paul Pretorius, the evidence leader, read out an excerpt of a commentary that criticised the ANC's deployment strategy as being marred by careerism and factionalism.

Ramaphosa conceded that this was true in certain circumstances and attributed it to the ANC being a "living" organisation that was affected by divisions.

"It is the truth, we have had to deal with these issues, careerism, opportunism and factionalism. And some of these deployments have caused a ruckus in the ANC because we are a living organisation. In the end, we have to manage all of that.

"Factionalism arises because members of the organisation would have different perspective and interests," Rampahosa said.

On a comment by former minister and ANC member Barbara Hogan that the ANC no longer needed a deployment system, Ramaphosa disagreed and said it was needed now more than ever.

The president said "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" was not a solution and that the committee could still make great contributions to the ANC. He said it should be recommending people who are fit, who know their craft and will not be captured.

Ramaphosa said ideally the deployment committee could be envisioned to serve as a filter to ensure people who are not fit for office do not get appointed in public positions.

In defence of the committee, Rampahosa said the committee was diverse, with people with broad knowledge of labour and other critical areas.

"We need to ensure that capture of the state does not happen again, we need to keep our eye in ensuring that it is not executed," Ramaphosa said.

The inquiry continues.

Political Bureau

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