Cyril Ramaphosa says court bid to outlaw cadre deployment is premature, lacks substance

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 25, 2023


Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa is adamant that the DA’s application to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria to declare the ANC’s cadre deployment committee unlawful and unconstitutional is “premature and lacked substance”.

Ramaphosa made the submission in court yesterday through his legal counsel, advocate Adila Hassim SC, in his bid to ask the court to dismiss the application with costs.

He was replying to the DA’s claim that the ANC used its deployment committee to ensure some of its cadres secured top jobs in government, the media, judiciary and other levers of the state to simply enhance the interests of the party in government and state-owned institutions.

The DA also argued that the Zondo Commission found that the ANC has used its cadre deployment committee improperly in government institutions, a claim Ramaphosa vehemently denied in court and his affidavit.

“The DA’s case is a non-starter due to ripeness, standing vagueness and non-joinder issues. Second, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector – including organs of the State (State Capture Commission) does not recommend the relief sought in this application.

“It does issue findings critiquing the cadre deployment policy, but ultimately recommends the establishment of a committee to facilitate public hearings for the appointment of candidates to certain managerial positions,” Ramaphosa said.

In court, Hassim said it was premature for the DA to file the application before receiving Ramaphosa’s final reaction to the Zondo report.

She said Ramaphosa had four months to reply to the report, but the DA saw it prudent to file papers in court without his response.

“It is the president’s view that the application was premature. President Cyril Ramaphosa had since replied to the report in which he gave an undertaking to produce guidelines on the new appointment criteria in the public sector. The guidelines, according to President Ramaphosa, would be made public in the 2023/2024 financial year,” Hassim said.

She said the DA filed their application in July last year and Ramaphosa had until October to reply to the Zondo report.

In his affidavit, Ramaphosa also said that the history and nature of the policy was not unique to South Africa, or the ANC.

“The examples cited by the DA are not an exercise of the policy, are not relevant to this application, and do not support the relief sought by the DA,” Ramaphosa said.

This was corroborated by the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Thulas Nxesi, who was also cited in the application.

Hassim and Nxesi’s counsel, advocate Vincent Maleka SC, argued that the DA’s claim that former SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane was employed through the Public Service Act was false and misleading. Both said Moyane was employed through the Sars Act, which did not fall within the prescripts of the Public Service Act.

The two legal experts were adamant that the DA submitted various other examples that did not support their claim of a breach of the Bill of Rights.

According to Maleka, the DA claimed that in most cases senior ANC members were appointed in contravention of the PSA, but pointed out irregularities in public entities such as Eskom.

“Public entities are not governed by the Public Service Act. Those entities have their own boards who are making appointments on their own,” Maleka argued.

Pretoria News