South Africa

POLITICAL POSITIONS

DA demands investigation into all ANC cadre deployment appointments

According to the DA, the ANC's deployment committee intervened in appointment processes at 88 different state institutions during Cyril Ramaphosa's (pictured) presidency between May 2018 and May 2021. (Photo: GCIS)

At a press conference on Wednesday, the DA announced that it is launching a formal complaint to the Public Service Commission requesting an investigation into all positions seemingly selected by the ANC’s cadre deployment committee. But the DA also faced questions about its own policies following the reappointment of a controversial Western Cape figure.

Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town on Wednesday, the DA’s spokesperson on public service Leon Schreiber announced that a formal complaint will be launched with the Public Service Commission (PSC) following revelations contained in the minutes of the ANC’s deployment committee.

Two tranches of deployment committee minutes, spanning the period between 2018 and 2021, reveal that the ANC’s committee routinely deliberates on preferred candidates to fill all manner of state positions.

“During the Ramaphosa presidency from May 2018 to May 2021, the committee intervened in appointment processes at 88 different state institutions, including courts, chapter 9 institutions, state-owned enterprises and government departments,” Schreiber said.

“During this three-year period, the committee summoned 29 ministers and deputy ministers as well as Ramaphosa himself to direct the appointment of ANC cadres to key positions.”

Schreiber says that the minutes clearly show that “loyalty to the ANC is a key criterion for appointment”.

As a result, the opposition party wants the PSC to investigate every appointment mentioned in the ANC minutes. Where irregularity or illegality in making the appointments is confirmed, the DA wants the relevant appointment processes to be re-run.

This is in addition to a piece of legislation that DA spokesperson Siviwe Garube said that the party has introduced in Parliament, but which is yet to be discussed by the committee. The DA’s proposed private members’ bill, the End Cadre Deployment Bill, would outlaw the current ANC practice.

Schreiber said that it was of particular concern to the DA that the cadre deployment committee appears to maintain its own CV database of candidates for deployment.

He added that in cases where the ANC committee is shown using identity markers like race to guide their appointments, these decisions may in some instances “amount to unfair discrimination”.

But the DA also faced questions from journalists about its own appointment practices. This follows the news earlier this month that former transport MEC and ex-DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela is set to return to politics as an advisor to Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. In April 2021, Madikizela was exposed by Daily Maverick as having lied about his qualifications on his CV and subsequently resigned from all positions.

Schreiber denied that the reappointment of Madikizela amounted to the DA’s own form of cadre deployment, saying that the DA did not have a cadre deployment committee of any kind.

When it came to Madikizela, Schreiber said, “That is a question for the Premier to explain his thinking and the process, but there are certain political appointments which can be made”.

He said that the difference lies in the fact that the ANC’s committee is deploying people to posts where public servants are meant to be non-political.

When asked about the 2020 appointment of former DA MP Vusumzi Magwebu as the ombudsman of the City of Cape Town, another ostensibly apolitical role, Schreiber said that while he could not speak to these appointments specifically, what the ANC was doing — in contrast to the DA — amounted to “a systematic effort to implement the wishes of the party in the state”.

At the same media briefing, DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said that the party would also be proposing the establishment of an anti-corruption commission in the wake of the first instalment of the Zondo Commission report.

Breytenbach said that the establishment of such a commission would be in line with the recommendations made in the 2011 Glenister judgment, which recommended that the Scorpions investigative unit should be replaced by an entirely independent body whose head would have security of tenure and report directly to Parliament.

She added that two of the most ruinous examples of cadre deployment in recent South African history have been in terms of the past leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). DM 

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All Comments 5

  • Is a long list :/

    What happens if the same team investigates the DA anointed ones parachuted into metros and councils? Please don’t tell me those people are all deployed on relevant skill and experience!

    • Fully agree Johan! Apart from Cape Town, and only perhaps, the rest of the Western Cape and the rest of the country, including Gauteng, appointments are purely based on cadre deployment (aka giving a incompetent person a job simply because he/she is a member of the party, and looking for a job.). But that is the story about South African politics. Vote for me, and I’ll pay you big time!

    • While of course political appointments are rife in any political party, I don’t think that we can really compare a handful cases that the DA was involved with to years of mediocre appointments by the ANC…just one example of so many: Des van Rooyen. Billions lost…there is nothing even remotely similar the DA has done. Nevermind that a significant number of ANC cadres in power either have heavy accusations of corruption against them, or actually are guilty of crimes ranging from theft and rape to murder.
      Yes, we should keep an eye on all parties for this kind of deployment, but no, the DA is not guilty of the same offenses the ANC is. Not even close.

  • Loyalty to the party is not a skill, and when it is the essential criterion, it spells disaster: Eskom, SAA, SAPS, PRASA. This Stalinist approach needs examination and the SACP should be booted out of government and function as an independent party. The worst Soviet practices like cadre deployment and luxury for the loyal while the masses go short, seem to have been absorbed during all those years in exile in the USSR, and the relationships formed with KGB and STASI members made a lasting impression too, it seems.

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