How President Ramaphosa and ANC leaders misled SA about the party’s cadre deployment committee

How President Ramaphosa and ANC leaders misled SA about the party’s cadre deployment committee
Illustrative image//Deputy president David Mabuza.(Photo:Jairus Mmutle/GCIS),Suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.(Photo:Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw),ANC Chairman Gwede Mantashe.(Photo:Elmond Jiyane,GCIS) and ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa.(Photo:Shelley Christians)

The minutes of the ANC’s deployment committee offer the first public glimpse into the workings of this mysterious body. They also reveal that in court papers and submissions to the Zondo Commission, ANC leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, have repeatedly misrepresented the powers and function of the committee.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared before the Zondo Commission on 28 April 2021, Judge Raymond Zondo asked him whether the ANC would ever discuss potential judge candidates, and express preferences on candidates. The question was asked in the context of the ANC’s deployment committee, which Ramaphosa chaired in his capacity as deputy president and about which he was testifying.

“Not as far as I am aware,” Ramaphosa responded, before clarifying a few moments later: “I do recall once where [judicial] vacancies were mentioned and it was just in passing… it never resulted or descended into saying this [candidate] would be good.”

The clear impression Ramaphosa gave to the Zondo Commission, and South Africa at large, was that assessing candidates for judicial vacancies fell beyond the remit of the ANC’s deployment committee. Yet, as the now-public deployment committee minutes show, this was untrue. On at least one occasion during the limited period covered by the minutes – 22 March 2019 – the committee is shown discussing and recommending candidates for upcoming judicial posts.

“It is concerning that President Cyril Ramaphosa, as the former chairperson of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee, may have made an untruthful statement to Judge Zondo during his testimony in front of the State Capture Commission,” DA MP Leon Schreiber, who pushed for the public release of the minutes, told DM168.

“Now that we have obtained the ANC’s cadre deployment minutes, we see clearly that the deployment committee does in fact ‘descend into saying this [candidate] would be a good one’. In fact, the cadre deployment committee explicitly recommends the names of particular judges it wants deployed.”

But Ramaphosa’s misrepresentation is just one of multiple untruths conveyed by ANC leaders – all under oath – while defending the party’s cadre deployment policy, a DM168 investigation suggests.

A court affidavit in the name of ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, dated 23 July 2021, swears that the deployment committee “generally” does not get involved in appointments “for independent institutions (including the judiciary)”.

Yet the minutes record deliberations not just over the judicial appointments, but also over appointments for at least two other “independent institutions”: the South African Human Rights Commission and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. These are both Chapter 9 bodies, whose independence is enshrined in the Constitution.

Duarte’s affidavit, which was submitted in response to the DA’s application to have the minutes released, also states definitively that the committee does “not get involved in the appointment of ambassadors”.

Ambassadorial vacancies are in fact discussed on 3 December 2018; in the same meeting, one of the resolutions is to “work on foreign deployments”. On 8 March 2019, “Cde Supra” [presumably former North West premier Mahumapelo] is described as being “available for international deployment”.

Moreover, Ramaphosa told the Zondo Commission on 12 August 2021 that ambassadorial appointments are indeed within the scope of the committee.  

Duarte further states in her court papers: “I must stress that the deployment committee does not say to the minister that any of the persons [shortlisted for a position by a Cabinet minister] are not eligible.”

This is again explicitly contradicted by Ramaphosa’s testimony to the Zondo Commission. The President made a point of noting, in fact, that for Cabinet ministers to get lists approved by the deployment committee is “not an easy process”, saying: “I know of ministers who have been there three times or more just to get a list recommended.”

This reality is also reflected by the minutes. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s nominations for the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency are recorded as being rejected by the committee on 30 November 2020 because of “issues raised with regard to processes being followed and the candidates and the make-up of the board”.

Former ANC secretary-general and current Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, appearing before the State Capture probe two days after Ramaphosa, stated: “The committee takes a mere interest only in those vacancies which it considers strategic and which could advance the development agenda with the state, such for the post of director-general.”

Duarte’s affidavit claims similarly that the committee “gets involved in the civil service i.e. the top leadership, at director-general level”.

In fact, the minutes show that the committee routinely considers vacancies below director-general level: on at least three occasions recorded by the minutes, the body deliberates over deputy director-general positions.

The mystery of the missing minutes

It is clear that the ANC is unhappy about the release of the deployment committee minutes. The party has refused to comment on their content, and when DM168 contacted ANC spokespeople for comment last week, we received a call from ANC legal adviser Krish Naidoo informing us that the minutes had been released in error.

Although the DA had made two separate legal attempts to obtain the minutes – via a Paia (Promotion of Access to Information Act) application and ongoing litigation – neither of these had yet met with success when the Zondo Commission was found to have quietly released the minutes on its website as part of a bundle of documentation relating to the testimony of Ramaphosa.

Included in that documentation is a letter from Naidoo to the Zondo Commission dated 6 August 2021, which states that the ANC wishes the commission to treat the minutes with “the requisite degree of confidentiality”. Naidoo specifies that the ANC is submitting the minutes “for information purposes only” and not as “part of the information which the Commission is at liberty to publish”.

Although the Zondo Commission had asked for minutes of the deployment committee for the entire period of State Capture, it was informed by ANC lawyers that minutes from 2012 to 2018 were unavailable. The only minutes supplied cover the period from May 2018 to 2020. 

When questioned about this at the commission, Ramaphosa claimed that minutes had not been taken during the period when he was chairing the committee – or, at least, he could not recall ever going through minutes. This he attributed to the ANC’s “rather unfortunate record-keeping processes”.

Commission evidence leader Paul Pretorius responded that this seemed “implausible”, given that the party in fact had a strong history of record-keeping in significant meetings. Ramaphosa stuck to his guns, but the notion remains that it seems impossibly convenient for both the ANC and the President that no record was kept of any deployment committee meetings during the Zuma years where Ramaphosa oversaw the committee. 

Further undermining the claim that previous minutes simply were not kept is the fact that the first set of minutes released, for 11 May 2018, start by adopting the minutes of the last meeting.

The role of the deployment committee in State Capture

The reason the ANC might wish to conceal the minutes of the deployment committee meetings held during the Zuma administration is not hard to see. With the committee’s existence already receiving a public hammering, particularly from the DA, hard evidence that it directly contributed to State Capture by recommending compromised individuals to key state roles would likely make its continuation untenable.

But there is already some proof that this is indeed what happened. An affidavit fragment contained within the bundle of documentation linked to Ramaphosa’s testimony released by the Zondo Commission states: “It must be borne in mind that all appointments to the boards of SOEs [state-owned enterprises] must also be approved by the African National Congress Deployment Committee… The 2015 [Denel] board was no exception.”

This is particularly significant because Judge Raymond Zondo, in his first report, has already identified the boards of SOEs as being among the key enablers of State Capture.

Ramaphosa was asked by Zondo whether it would be “fair” to assume that “when it came to board members and chairpersons of important SOEs such as Transnet, Eskom, Denel, SAA, as well as their CEOs”, their appointment would have gone through the deployment committee of the ANC.

After some equivocation, Ramaphosa responded: “The expectation would be yes.” 

In his report, Zondo would go on to conclude that the collapse of once-thriving SOEs was at least partly linked to the fact that “most, if not all, of these entities were led by Chief Executive Officers and Boards of Directors who would have been approved by the ruling party through its national deployment committee”. 

What the committee is designed to do and why

Numerous ANC figures have explained that the deployment committee was originally set up as a necessity when the party came into government and was confronted with an all-white civil service. The committee was intended to ensure that the civil service was racially transformed and also, to quote a Zondo Commission affidavit submitted by Mantashe, “to ensure that bureaucratic sabotage by reactionary forces, intent on undermining the democratic order, would be minimised”.

There is little disagreement that a policy of cadre deployment was indeed necessary under those circumstances. In recent years, however, the question of whether the committee’s function is still necessary – or even lawful – has come under increasing scrutiny.

This is the case even within the ANC itself. Current Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told Newzroom Afrika in 2021 that the ostensible objectives of the committee, in terms of racially transforming the civil service, had undoubtedly already been achieved.

“Is there a necessity to continue doing [the policy of cadre deployment]?” he asked. “That’s a debate we should be engaged in.”

Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan has made no secret of her scepticism about the committee, telling the Zondo Commission in 2018: “How can just a handful of people possibly have the institutional knowledge and resources to pronounce on suitable candidates for every senior position in government and the private sector?”

The publication of the committee’s minutes has added fuel to the debate. The DA has already called for an investigation into every public service position filled by the committee. 

“The minutes confirm that the real powers of appointment are not located in the state, but are instead outsourced to a subcommittee of a political party. Appointment decisions are therefore predictably made in the best interests of the party, rather than of the country,” Schreiber said in a statement this week. DM168

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Coen Gous says:

    Despite a pathetic ANC, with Ramaphosa, and his cabinet, the top six (or top 5 now I think) of the ANC, are simply as bad as the drug dealers and police pay-offs in the Cape Town (to which the DA has no answer, their cadres simply kill homeless people), reality is we are simply ruled by incompetent cadres in every corner of this country.

    • Karl Sittlinger says:

      “to which the DA has no answer, their cadres simply kill homeless people”

      Got proof? Is the provincial or the national police to blame? How exactly does DA kill homeless?

      This is about the ANC and their cadre deployment of the last 20 years, and there is nothing even remotely comparable that the DA has done, in neither scope nor frequency.

      If so, pls list some proof…

      • Coen Gous says:

        Sorry, badly phrased….referred to police and/or law enforcement killing innocent homeless people (like in Rondebosch a few days ago). And the failure of the City of Cape Town (predominant under DA administration) to somehow control, with the police or their own law enforcement officials, to control the massive gang wars and drug dealers in the Cape Town informal settlements.

        • Glyn Morgan says:

          Control of gang wars is the function of the SAP, not the Municipal Police. The Municipal Police can only aid the SAP, which they do very well.

          • Coen Gous says:

            Glyn, Macleod, and Paddy, your insults simply define your characters…so just p..s off. Your “patriotic alliance” to your DA is becoming extremely boring to read regardless of what you write. And Glyn, at no stage did I imply that the gang wars are the sole responsibility of the Municipal Police. Macleod, where I live has sweat blow nothing to do with you. And Paddy, I have no idea whom Khulubone is (not a subscriber to News24), but is obviously a person that you regularly insults as well.

        • Rod H MacLeod says:

          Oh dear Coen – where do you actually live and see things around you?

        • Jellybean Jellybean says:

          I’m really trying to understand MOST of your illogical prattle. There is no thread to your discussion. Unfortunately the comments you deem as “insulting” are just right on the money, just right on the button and just oh so right in content and context

        • Peter Oosthuizen says:

          Incredible expertise and knowledge of all things from politics to policing to sport.
          Please apply to DM for a column so that those who truly value your opinions can benefit from your research.

    • Johannes Nel says:

      Jy maak ‘n gat van jouself Coen.

    • Clyde Smith says:

      Anyone that pisses off DA supporters can’t be all bad.

  • Easy Does It says:

    This is a polite :
    “ This is the case even within the ANC itself. Current Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told Newzroom Afrika in 2021 that the ostensible objectives of the committee, in terms of racially transforming the civil service, had undoubtedly already been achieved.”

    Civil service has been transformed. Like magic, from civil service into, useless, hopeless….. Now we need to “Untransform”it and bring it back.

  • Joe Soap says:

    The ANC is a criminal organisation that is wholly incapable of running itself, let alone a municipality of the country. We have paid R 1 billion to get it in writing, no need for story after story expressing shock and horror. We know, we all lived through it, and now we have the history all documented in one extensive report.

    I feel it is about time we start seeing stories about how to get rid of this useless bunch, how to keep them out, and how to fix the mess they have made.

    • Glyn Morgan says:

      The quickest way to ” get rid of this useless bunch, how to keep them out, and how to fix the mess they have made.” is to vote DA.

      • louis viljee says:

        Please spare us. Yes, thanks to the DA for their efforts to expose the facts behind the Deployment Committee, but it appears more thanks are due to unfortunate bungling of the Zondo Commission. But a real political future for ZA still appears far off. Perhaps time to consider how civil society can help improve a broken system, as has repeatedly been recommended. A Peoples Assembly may be a good start.

  • Stephen T says:

    Yet more proof of what we already knew: the political Left is inherently dishonest because it firmly believes in principles such as the Ends Justifies the Means. At the end of the day it is, and always has been, all about who gets to control the privileges on offer. Their interest in democracy is simply as a sometimes useful veil to cover up what they’re actually trying to do, which is to allocate more privileges to themselves at the expense of everyone else.

    Now more than ever it is plain as day to see: The ANC is the Enemy of The People.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    It was neither a misinterpretation nor an untruth, the President lied.

    • Chris van Heusden says:

      Thank you Hermann. I was reading through the comments before I said what I was thinking. Why the hell is the headline “Misled”??? Call it what it is… a blatant LIE!!!

  • Ludovici DIVES says:

    Evidence suggests ANC leadership comprises of liars.
    If any state capture enablers are found guilty of wrong doing then the persons responsible for their deployment should also be held accountable.
    In any event the ANC have had their glory days, games up, now we sit back and watch them squirm while the party implodes.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Just as an aside – look at how it took almost 7 decades for another Congress to implode ! BUT …. remember that what follows or replaces it is not always palatable … an always finger wagging, hectoring Hindutva leader (shades of Juju?) … with lots of supporters and lackeys ! Maybe I am too cynical, but it is not hard to imagine an alliance between RET forces and Juju becoming the dominant force in this country because there seems so few ANC ‘cadres’ with any integrity left ! Most of the remaining few, have distanced themselves by literally ‘stepping aside’… rather than be infected by the contagion!

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        I should add that the hectoring leader sometimes appears with a fake Gandhian ‘namaste’ posture ! Akin to the fake ’embracing’ of the Arch here .

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    The only way that the scourge of corruption and maladministration will be able to be stopped, is for cadre deployment to be banned in terms of legislation, for procurement legislation to be overhauled, and legislation protecting whistleblowers to be dramatically strengthened. Unfortunately, in relation to cadre deployment in particular, the ANC is clearly set on clinging to cadre deployment. Many members are only members because they see membership as a route to lucrative positions! The recommendations of the Zondo Commission report in relation to these matters are especially important for civil society to apply serious pressure to ensure that the recommendations are implemented!

  • Andrew McWalter says:

    A sad Punch & Judy show where SA repeatedly falls victim to the ANC’s slapstick horror attacks. Well, the show is over now, the same tired old script had become offensive to our ears. Despite no money and a rapidly diminishing audience the ANC continue their grotesque masquerade not knowing that Judy has their underpants. The entertainment has shifted to watching the ANC’s unbelievably pathetic excuses, showing how far it has fallen – and continues to fall apace – from its own historically venerable standing, the Truth and SA itself.

  • Karsten Döpke says:

    Im guessing squirrel want to keep those 12-18 minutes under wraps, or its will become almost impossible for him to say that he knew nothing…
    I would also be interesting to see if his business interest benefitted during the Zuma years.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    I wouldn’t like to be accused of defend G the ANC or whataboutery, but the fact is all governments want their supporters in positions where government policies can be promoted. And as far as judicial appointments look at the US right up to its Supreme Court. No,the problem is when incapable people are put in those positions to enable corruption and to make unlawful decisions which they are instructed to make to favour ANC operatives.

    • Geoff Krige says:

      Full agree. I think this is one of the reasons why our South African constitution has been applauded around the world as an excellent constitution – it entrenches the independence of the Chapter 9 Institutions as a bulwark against this bias. But seeing proof confirmation in writing that the ANC has contravened the constitution they claim to uphold, and has made its own appointments irrespective of any inconvenient constitutional requirements, shows sad proof of the bunch of looting, lawless thugs we have running our country. Yes, there are many countries that have similar bias in their judiciary and other institutions that should hold government accountable, but living in South Africa we are directly affected by the ANC government. What happens in USA, UK, Russia, China, etc is interesting, but it has only a periphery influence on ordinary life in South Africa.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        The reference to “USA, UK, Russia, China etc is interesting ” should be viewed against the backdrop that in the first two … the ‘people’ get to elect their ‘leaders’, while in the other two the “leader” elects his (almost never her ! – unless you are Carrie Lam(b)) electorate ! They also ban/jail those who would dare to challenge their unopposed election … most frequently labeling them ‘foreign agents’ or not being ‘patriotic’ or even worse … a threat to ‘national security’ . Maybe that is the direction we could be headed for ?

  • Geoff Krige says:

    The claim that cadre deployment was set up to address the racial bias of the Civil Service is a smoke-screen. Cadre deployment was clearly set up to ensure that all top positions were occupied by the ANC top clique. Show me more than a tiny handful (if you can find any) of senior appointments given to competent and highly experienced Black people who were not ANC members or very closely connected to senior ANC members, to prove me wrong!

  • Geoff Krige says:

    I think a lengthy part of those early clandestine meetings between The National Party and the ANC must have revolved around discussions of how the ANC could set itself up like the Broederbond, to ensure that all senior government and SOE positions would at all times be filled by compliant friends and family.

  • Gavin Craythorne says:

    “Further undermining the claim that previous minutes simply were not kept is the fact that the first set of minutes released, for 11 May 2018, start by adopting the minutes of the last meeting”
    How much longer must we endure this?

    • Charles Parr says:

      Any adoption of the previous meeting should have given the date of that meeting. But in the land of non-compliance no doubt that wasn’t done properly either.

  • Peter Worman says:

    There clearly needs to be some kind of verification of senior state appointments and directors of the plethora of SOE’s so my suggestion would be the creation of a committee of private businessmen, senior government employees and perhaps leaders of trade unions. Before being appointed the list of short listed applicants needs to be widely published for public comment. At least the process would be transparent

    • Stephen T says:

      The trade unions are in bed with government and can thus be assumed to be equally corrupt and corruptible. They are also politically Left-leaning and thus inherently untrustworthy and dishonest.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    The extent of the lying under oath, done by senior members of the ANC, including President Ramaphosa, on the true extent of the cadre deployment committee, underlines the criticality of cadre deployment and BEE, in allowing, maintaining and supporting, State Capture and the destruction of our country.

    It underlines that, without wholesale root and branch changes within the ANC, and that must be BOTH factions of the ANC, the Ramaphosa-led ANC faction, and even more so the RET/Zuma/Magashule/Malema (yes we all know he is technically EFF at the moment, but were the RET faction ever to return to the levers of power, Malema will be a key figure), then our country and it’s economy will continue to tank.

    There can be no equivocation on this matter, and we hope that the next two “Chapters” in the Zondo Report will clearly set this out.

    The ANC is presently nothing more than a criminally-intent cabal, maintaining it’s exclusivity by a “jobs for pals” pact, whose sole purpose would seem to be to maintain the ANC-elites, lifestyle and pampered existence at the expense of the entire rest of South Africa.

  • Phil Evans says:

    The difference between the ANC and ZANU(PF)?…..not alot. SA’s trajectory is locked onto Zim’s.

  • Lorinda Winter says:

    It just goes to prove that we cannot trust anybody in the ANC. It really has become nothing more than a criminal organisation that has no interest in running the country but just want to line their own pockets.

  • John Strydom says:

    So if lying under oath is punishable by law, why are the other political parties not laying charges?

  • Peter Bartlett says:

    ARROGANCE AND POWER CORRUPT and then – when it INSTILLS A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT in those who promote SELFISHNESS AND SELF-INTEREST; above the interests of their fellow man – we see what happens when this is allowed to fester and pervade SOCIETY like the type cANCer we have, not only in government throughout SA, but across the entire world!!!

    From what has already been exposed in [only] part one of ACJ Zondo’s State Capture Report; to the latest scandals in the UK; as well as what’s coming to light regards what went down on January 6th last year in the US; let-alone the debacle that’s busy playing out – or is it already match point – at the Australia Open tennis!

    Whether it’s the ANC, Cyrup, Gweezie and their Cadres; Boris and his Clowns; Andrew the alleged non-sweating sex offender; Donald the Trump; or NOVAX Djokovic – they are all cast in the same mould – and it’s high time that each and every one of them receive their respective comeuppance!!!

    . . . And the sooner the better too 🤞

    • Coen Gous says:

      Now this is what I call a comment worth reading!

    • Jellybean Jellybean says:

      Agree with Coen, totally. Brilliantly articulated !!!!!
      Whilst technology has raced ahead, mankind has degenerated with an even greater speed.
      What surprises me the MOST is why all the intelligent minds who post constructive and highly intellectual opinions and comments are actually surprised at where we are as a country, generally and specifically. And I’m NOT being facetious.

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    There is a great deal of misguided and sometimes inaccurate discussion here.
    Deployment of persons to senior positions take place elsewhere in the world, notably the USA where new administrations fill senior positions with their own supporters. The only difference is that the newly deployed people are COMPETENT in their duties. I had professional colleagues in the USA who were appointed in such a way and it is accepted as a “normal” occurrence. However only happens to the top two levels. After the DA took control of the WC many years ago some of their appointments in the administration were arguably given to supporters, though once again these people were competent in their posts. I am not knocking any party but merely expressing facts; in fact have never voted during the past 50 or so years for any party other than the DA , in its various “guises” over the years. However the DA of today is not a shadow even of the party during the time of the late Helen Suzman

    • Coen Gous says:

      Exactly. Helen Suzman represented what the official opposition of today should have been. She stood for everything that was admirable, and took no prisoners. Even Van Zyl Slabbert, and working with him Wynand Malan, stood very strong. Today, all opposition parties measures themselves against the ruling party, and voters vote for them on that basis. But that does not make it acceptable. To be better than the ANC, or deliver better service, is not an achievement at all. It is merely better than….but not good enough!

  • Patrick Devine says:

    “to ensure that bureaucratic sabotage by reactionary forces, intent on undermining the democratic order, would be minimised”.

    Nope – the ANC did all the ‘undermining of the democratic order’ extremely effectively – probably the only thing it got right.

    By appointing corrupt, incompetent, venal and mendacious cadres set about the collapsing of SOEs and government departments and repurposing them as extraction machines for Gupta’s and co.


  • Roger Sheppard says:

    Dear Rebecca Davis, what do you mean by Leon Schreiber (quote): ‘..pushed for the release of public minutes..” (unquote)!!?? This was a major effort by Leon Schreiber, driven by resilience and a belief in the laws of the land that such evidence MUST be disclosed for all to hear. It took time, rejection of threat, enormous persistence and a fundamental concern for all who live here that the truth – Cadre Deployment is planned ANC policy – to out!
    And in true to form style, the anti-DA tone in what is seriously interpreted by so many, as your now clearly limited journalistic sense of fair play/credit where credit is due, you deny the recognition to the person, the party and the sense of hope that such a revelation might have encouraged among the many readers and beyond who desperately NEED to hear ‘who drove it, how did he drive it [through the courts!], how long did it take to obtain this JUDGEMENT etc, …all because Schreiber is DA!!
    Get a life Rebecca…or be seen as another Coen Gouws, who writes anti-DA below, as persistently.

  • Carol Green says:

    Hi Rebecca, on the 6th of January you stated “(b)ut the minutes are in one sense relatively benign, simply given the historical period they cover.” Why did you get it so wrong 10 days ago?

    • Paul Zille says:

      Because she has to be dragged kicking and screaming to properly take on the ANC. Her energies are reserved for sneering at the DA and its efforts to illuminate the malfeasance that underpins the cANCer.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    so much for building up as social media is supposed to do. DM your stand point to allow opinions is to be respected, but insults and political party posturing should not be allowed. it adds nothing to the narrative and it could discourage supporters of DM of paying a contribution!

    • Karl Sittlinger says:

      All we can do is push back with facts and questions when commentators (and article authors) use ad hominem attacks and other fallacies to push their points of view. We all every now and again have a one sided view or maybe even just having a bad day, the question is rather are we still even listening to other responses that do not suit our viewpoint or political stance? Let’s have open discussions but maybe without the personal insults that have been increasing lately.

  • Paul Zille says:

    Perhaps the author might write a follow-up piece titled: “How the mainstream media failed to recognise (or wilfully ignored reporting on) the nature, extent and consequences of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee”.

    Anyone who raised concerns about cadre deployment and its inevitable consequences for the capacity and honesty of the SA state was vilified as ‘anti-transformation’ or racist. In the case of Ms Davis, it also provided another reason to berate the DA, which for years was the only entity with the guts to warn against this ruinous practice.

    She gives a glimpse of the ex post justification being lined up to exonerate the useful idiots in the media who overlooked or denied cadre deployment and its disasterous consequences, when she writes: ‘There is little disagreement that a policy of cadre deployment was indeed necessary (to avoid what Gwede Mantashe, no less, referred to as ‘bureaucratic sabotage by reactionary forces, intent on undermining the democratic order’) “.

    Wiggle as she might now, it is blindingly obvious today – as it was then – that she and so many of her colleagues in the mainstream media were hook, lined and sinkered by the ANC around cadre deployment – along with so many other policies that were deemed to be beyond scrutiny by the woke.

    One would think some open self-reflection might now be in order?

    • Coen Gous says:

      Like a certain mr. Sheppard, your comment is pure drivel.. Please, refrain from trying to use DM as an avenue to promote the glory of a particular political party. This is NOT the avenue to advertise your preference for a political party, as bad as your preference might be!

    • Rolando MacJones says:

      Amen. The DM needs to take a long dark look in the mirror.

      Cf. Matthew Blackman and friends attempt to discredit the DA and Zille today even while admitting that she/they are correct.

      • Rolando MacJones says:

        Some more idiocy that will lead to DM editors taking a long dark look in the mirror:

        “”Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability”

        It is the media’s responsibility as an independent agent of society to provide a forum for active and intelligent discussion.

        DM, just like with “ANC all good, white monopoly all bad” politics this is a horrendously weak know tow to the government.

        I sincerely hope you are getting money in your Swiss bank accounts for this absolution of your professional duties. If not you are blinkered cowards.

        You are actively hobbling my kids’ futures.

  • Gerrie Pretorius Pretorius says:

    ” …. Mantashe, “to ensure that bureaucratic sabotage by reactionary forces, intent on undermining the democratic order, would be minimised”.” No bureaucratic ‘sabotage’ was necessary, the anc just went ahead and undermined the democratic order and in the process destroyed the properly functioning SOEs and the economy of SA. The anc leadership are all liars and racist and it gets proved over and over again.

  • Clyde Smith says:

    You don’t moonlight as a Fox News “journalist” do you? ‘mainstream media’, ‘woke’ – all that’s missing is ‘fake news’ and ‘cancel culture’, but I know you have them up your sleeve.
    You say the DA was, for years, the only entity with the guts to warn against this ruinous practice. I don’t know where you’ve been for the last 25 years but even my neighbours’ dog had a handle on cadre deployment and its potential harm as early as 1998, And read about it in the media – although back then it wasn’t referred to sneeringly as ‘mainstream media’.
    As pointed out in a post by Mally2, the practice of cadre deployment exists in some form or another in many democracies but it is only the appointment of someone like Lindiwe Sisulu that condemns the practice in South Africa as truly farcical. As an aside here, not only are there incompetent people in almost every cabinet post, but that they are given the opportunity to lay waste to so many portfolios is truly mind-boggling.
    No – I don’t see the DA as the only defenders of scrupulous governance who should, as a noble group of self-sacrificing civil servants, be awarded the Nobel prize for peace (or anything else). A million years ago I canvassed for the Progressive Party in Nationalist strongholds in Johannesburg. I wouldn’t do it today for the DA.

    • Clyde Smith says:

      Oops – this was a reply to Paulzille.

    • Coen Gous says:

      Oops, Clyde, for a moment I thought you went bonkers, until your oops! Poor Rebecca. Been pulled to pieces, and so very unfairly. If she ever reads this, I for one rate her extremely high, and is a credit to her profession

    • Roger Lee says:

      Having read all these comments a thought comes to mind. Should we not just have a look at the Auditor-General’s review of municipalities? The DA is so far ahead of the ANC in good governance that it is no contest. If we want to help our country we should vote DA regardless of our personal issues. By the time the perfect political party many correspondents would like appears there will be no country worth trying to save.

      • Coen Gous says:

        Dear God. here we go again! Using DM as a toy to promote your party preference. If DM is an advertising vehicle, please inform me, at which point I will simply depart

    • Rolando MacJones says:

      I don’t know where you’ve been the last 28 years, but in South Africa the ANC has been governing.

      I did also canvas for the PFP as a student in some rough areas while also being in the UDF broad front and voting ANC in 1994.

      What is your point?

      DA white bad; ANC black good?

      I call BS.

  • Sandra Goldberg says:

    Of course cadre deployment is practiced in many Democratic as well as autocratic countries. The difference is , in the former, the deployed statesmen are most often skilled, qualified contenders for their particular assignment. In South Africa however, which boasts one of the best democratic constitutions in the world, it would appear the exact opposites generally happens- not only are the cadres unskilled, unqualified and generally incompetent, but they are often corrupt , arrogant and mendacious as well. Such a toxic combination of personal characteristics in our governing class has got us to where we are today,a mostly failed state, but for the extraordinary performance of our excellent NGOs.

  • Steve Riley says:

    Unfortunately, SA’s ruling elite and it’s crooked cockroaches, will lead us straight to the Failed State group of African nations, who now lead wretched lives in their wretched countries.
    “Without a meaningful change of trajectory, South Africa are predicted to be a failed State by 2030”, as stated by EUNOMIX Cooperation and Development. (You can google that yourselves)

    • Coen Gous says:

      Oops, Clyde, for a moment I thought you went bonkers, until your oops! Poor Rebecca. Been pulled to pieces, and so very unfairly. If she ever reads this, I for one rate her extremely high, and is a credit to her profession

    • Coen Gous says:

      Sorry Steve, posted my reply-comment incorrectly. That being said, will certainly the report by EUNOMIX, thank you

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

Get DM168 delivered to your door

Subscribe to DM168 home delivery and get your favourite newspaper delivered every weekend.

Delivery is available in Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape.

Subscribe Now→

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz