Cadre deployment may prove Ramaphosa cannot be separated from ‘nine wasted years’

The ANC has been accused of hiding emails and WhatsApp messages from President Cyril Ramaphosa to protect him. Picture: Princess Mahogo

The ANC has been accused of hiding emails and WhatsApp messages from President Cyril Ramaphosa to protect him. Picture: Princess Mahogo

Published Feb 25, 2024


THE records of the ANC cadre deployments could prove that President Cyril Ramaphosa could not be separated from the era of state capture and the often-cited “nine wasted years”.

This, after political analysts said the recordings were likely to reveal that Ramaphosa was part of the state capture and nine wasted years.

On the other hand, the DA on Friday accused the ANC of hiding Ramaphosa’s emails and WhatsApps to protect him.

This was after the ANC said not all the records of the deployment committee were found.

The governing party told the State Capture Inquiry of Commission in June 2021 that despite a thorough search for the minutes of its national deployment committee, it could not find documents for the period December 2012 to December 2017. This was when Ramaphosa chaired the committee.

The ANC handed over its records of cadre deployment to the DA this week after the opposition lodged the application for the records at the Constitutional Court.

The DA said it had issued a letter of demand to the ANC to fully comply with the court’s order before the deadline yesterday (Saturday).

The party added that it would seek an urgent contempt of court ruling that includes prison time aimed specifically at the ANC’s secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, should the governing party fail to comply.

However, Mbalula said cadre recruitment and deployment were among the key functions of political parties and political parties were critical to multi-party democracy.

“Most political parties campaign on a policy platform (manifesto) and when they are elected to govern, seek to implement its political programmes in government. This is an important part of legitimisation of democracy and depends on the extent to which policies submitted for public approval before an election translate into material outcomes once a political party has won power.

“For any serious governing party to leave this programme-to-policy-to implementation to chance, as the DA well knows, is irresponsible,” Mbalula said.

Sankarist David Letsoalo said the DA was trying to play politics and show that Ramaphosa may not be separated from the “so-called state capture and nine wasted years”, which he had desperately been trying to give the impression that he was not part of.

“Such records or minutes are expected to reveal certain things that would not have been meant for anyone outside the inner circle of the ANC honchos responsible for such critical discussions and decisions on who to deploy, and to which position or portfolio. In this regard, such revelation will not only be juicy to ANC outsiders and opponents, but also the rank-and-file members of the party.

“It is interesting that the DA application for these minutes only targeted the period when the current ANC president was the chairperson of that deployment committee. The reality is that the ANC has been deploying its cadres to public positions as early as 1994.

“In that sense, one can already see what the DA is trying to do politically; that is, to correctly say that Cyril Ramaphosa may not be separated from the so-called state capture and nine wasted years, which he has desperately, and ironically so, been trying to give the impression that he was not part of, nor responsible for,” said Letsoalo.

He said that this was unlikely to affect the ANC as the general public had always known that the party practised cadre deployment, adding that people had always expected the party to engage in this phenomenon.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said Ramaphosa had repeatedly positioned himself as “Mr Clean”.

He said this portrayal would suffer another blow if it is found that Ramaphosa was the chair of the deployment committee.

“He would be accused of having facilitated state capture. Indeed, certain individuals would be exposed for having benefited from the ANC policy of cadre deployment.

“This will have the effect of undermining their work and their authority,” said Seepe, adding that there was no doubt that any report that puts the ANC in a bad light would invariably influence the voters’ choice.

The 1 344-page document has showed how the ANC had been interfering with the recruitment and appointment of senior positions within the state-owned entities.

This exposed how the ANC has made recommendations and reviewed all boards of the state-owned entities.

This includes Sanparks, Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Denel, South African Airways, South African Forestry Company SOC Limited (SAFCOL) and Transnet.

Sanparks was told to appoint an interim board that should add the names of ANC cadre from a list of 48 available names.

For SEDA, the ANC created a database of all party members who were deployed in every position in government, business and boards. The list of 10 names, of which three were from the previous board, were nominated.

The deployment committee also agreed that a Minister of Public Enterprises should choose six people and the committee would forward six nominations to appoint the Transnet board before May 19, 2018.

When SAFCOL wanted to replace its board in 2018, the deployment committee provided four names from the ANC to be part of the 10 non-executive directors that formed part of the team.

DA’s MP Leon Schreiber yesterday (Friday) confirmed that the ANC deployment committee interfered in non-political appointments. The party also said the ANC extensively redacted the documents despite not being entitled to do so by court order.

It says the ANC provided no information for a five-year period during which Ramaphosa was the cadre deployment chairperson, adding the governing party furnished illegible documents.

“They failed to adequately explain the steps taken to locate the information, including all information from President Ramaphosa himself as chairperson of the committee and thus the recipient of any information and documents pertaining to it.”

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