ANC given five days to release contentious cadre deployment records to DA
The ANC has reached the end of the line in its attempts to thwart the DA from seeing the party’s cadre deployment records, the Constitutional Court ruled on Monday.
South Africa’s apex court has refused to grant the ANC further legal appeals in the ruling party’s bid to keep its cadre deployment records out of opposition hands.
On Monday, the Constitutional Court ruled that “it is not in the interests of justice for leave to appeal to be granted”, and dismissed the ANC’s application with costs.
The ANC had approached the highest court after the Supreme Court of Appeal found in September 2023 that the party could not appeal against an earlier high court loss on the matter. The Constitutional Court ruling on Monday now means that the ANC has exhausted its legal avenues.
Records could be major political headache for Ramaphosa
Driving the legal process against the ANC has been DA MP Leon Schreiber, who asked the courts to compel the ANC to make public all records relating to the party’s cadre deployment committee.
Previously, Schreiber’s litigation succeeded in effecting the release of 58 pages of committee meeting minutes held between 2018 and 2020. The records showed how the ANC’s cadre deployment committee routinely meets to deliberate on individuals to fill a wide range of positions within the public sector: from government departments to Chapter Nine institutions as well as, most controversially, the judiciary.
During the 2018 to 2020 period, the deployment committee was chaired by former deputy president David Mabuza.
The documents Schreiber has been after more recently are far more significant. They are the cadre deployment records for the peak State Capture period, between 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2021.
Potentially most explosively, this is the period during which President Cyril Ramaphosa — then acting as deputy — chaired the committee.
The DA is likely to make significant mileage out of Ramaphosa’s personal involvement in the practice of cadre deployment, whatever the records show.
DA hails great legal victory
“Today marks one of the great victories in South African legal and democratic history,” Schreiber said in a statement on Monday.
“In terms of the judgment, the ANC now has five working days to hand over to the DA all meeting minutes, CVs, email threads, Whatsapp discussions and other relevant documents relating to the cadre deployment committee, dating back more than a decade. The ANC has run out of road and must now expose the secrets it was so desperate to hide.”
The ANC had not responded to Daily Maverick’s request for comment at time of writing.
The party’s defence with regards to cadre deployment in the past has been that the controversial committee in question merely makes recommendations; it cannot dictate who should be appointed.
The DA will be hoping that the new tranche of records offer firm evidence that the committee effectively usurps the power of members of the executive in making decisions about state appointments. DM