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DA threatens court action as ANC requests more time to hand over cadre deployment documents

DA threatens court action as ANC requests more time to hand over cadre deployment documents
Illustrative image | President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader John Steenhuisen. (Photos: Gallo Images / Jeffrey Abrahams | Gallo Images / OJ Kolot | Rawpixel)

The DA says it has declined a request by the ANC to be granted an extension with regards to handing over its cadre deployment decision-making records for the period during which then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the governing party’s cadre deployment committee.

Monday is D-Day for the ANC to hand over its cadre deployment documentation to the DA. This follows the Constitutional Court dismissal of the ANC’s appeal to keep the internal party documents sealed, and the DA’s rejection of the ruling party’s request for an extension of time to hand over the documents.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said during his party’s 2024 election manifesto launch in Tshwane on Saturday that the ANC had made a request for an extension, which the DA had declined. 

According to the DA, it was a verbal request by the ANC’s lawyers after the apex court ruled last week that it must hand over the documents within five working days.

“After delaying for more than three years following the DA’s initial request for these records to be made public to expose Ramaphosa’s role in State Capture, the ANC yesterday came crawling back to the DA, begging us to give them more time,” Steenhuisen said.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to Ramaphosa and the ANC directly. No, you cannot get more time. Not to hand over these records, and not in government.

“You have wasted South Africa’s time for long enough. You will comply with the Constitutional Court’s order by handing over these records by 5pm on Monday.” 

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri told Daily Maverick that Steenhuisen’s assertions are “untrue” and that the “ANC will fully comply with the court order”.

The party issued a statement on Monday morning “calling out the DA’s gaslighting on cadre deployment”. 

It explained that it is not in possession of all the documents that have been requested by the DA.

During his appearance at the Zondo Commission, President Cyril Ramaphosa committed that the ANC would do everything in its power to find the records. 

The party claims to have found some of the documents which will be handed over.

“Similarly, the ANC indicated openly to the commission as far back as 24 June 2021 that: ‘We have conducted a thorough search for minutes of the National Deployment Committee for the period December 2012 to December 2017. No minutes of the meetings of the National Deployment Committee for the relevant period could be found,” it stated.

“[DA MP] Dr Leon Schreiber and the DA are fully aware of these facts, but have chosen to engage in deliberate misrepresentation, threats and false expectations of what might be contained in the records.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Cadre deployment — ANC’s holy grail comes under pressure just when they need it most

Read more in Daily Maverick: Cadre deployment sends us headlong towards kakistocracy

Steenhuisen threatened to have ANC leaders charged with contempt of court if they did not adhere to the deadline.

“If you fail to do so, the DA will use the precedent set in the [former president Jacob] Zuma case to go back to court for contempt order that includes prison time for each and every one of the ANC’s leaders.

“The ANC is so desperate to hide Ramaphosa’s cadre secrets that they are now threatening to trigger a constitutional crisis to protect him – just like they did with Zuma,” he said.

The ANC said it rejected the DA’s threats to lay charges of contempt of court against its leadership.

“ANC has followed all requirements of the Promotion of Access to Information Act in complying with the court order. Furthermore, precautions have been taken in order to comply with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act to protect the personal information of those who have not given consent for its release,” the party added.

Steenhusien further berated Ramaphosa, saying that he was to blame for the demise of the ANC and had enabled and protected Zuma on numerous occasions. 

“Ramaphosa even freed over 15,000 criminals just to keep Zuma out of prison. The very same Zuma is now helping to evict Ramaphosa from the Union Buildings behind me,” he said.

“In this election, for the first time ever, the DA has a clear path to victory. The demise of the ANC has opened the door for the DA to achieve what was once considered unthinkable – to enter national government.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: A more nuanced approach to cadre deployment crisis in South Africa is needed

On Monday, 12 February, the ConCourt 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.

DA MP Leon Schreiber, who was spearheading the legal action, asked the courts to compel the ANC to make public all records relating to the party’s cadre deployment committee.

The documents are records of appointments made during the State Capture era between 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2021.

Potentially most explosively, this is the period during which Ramaphosa – then acting as deputy president – chaired the committee.

Senior journalist Rebecca Davis writes more about the significance of the documents here.

DA pledges to end State Capture

The DA has said that ending cadre deployment as one of its key goals in its 2024 manifesto. The party promises to fill all positions with the most competent and qualified individuals available.

The official opposition believes cadre deployment is to blame for poor service delivery. 

“The policy of cadre deployment is the root cause of our public service’s reduced capacity, as appointments to key public service roles are made based on political affirmation rather than merit and competency,” the manifesto reads. 

It adds it will completely stop political interference in recruitment by ensuring that it is declared illegal. 

“The ANC continues this destructive policy even though its harmful effects were outlined extensively at the State Capture Commission and despite the legal action taken by the DA to declare the practice illegal,” the manifesto says.

​​On Monday afternoon, the DA said the ANC had handed over records from its cadre deployment committee. The party said it was studying the documents to see if the ANC had adhered to the court order. DM

This article was updated at 6.41pm on 19 February 2024 to reflect a response from the DA.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Skerminkel the Third says:

    O come on John, the ANC is so stuffed they cannot afford more than one shredder!

  • Kid Charlemagne says:

    Hey DA, do what’s legal, necessary and moral regarding judicial instructions from the highest court. No grandstanding, theatrics or politicking, please. Now, go and get them records.

  • Matthew Quinton says:

    ANC to the ICJ….. “why is Israel not listening to you?”

    ANC to the CC…. “why must we listen to you?”

    Sigh… nothing more than a bunch of spoilt, uneducated and supremely unsophisticated children driving the tractor wildly around the farm, destroying everything that was there; blaming everyone else and arguing amongst themselves whilst doing it.

  • Grant S says:

    Taking longer than expected to re-write the ‘records’ obviously. A by-product of expecting 30% exam results to produced educated, competent people upon whose skill you can build a nation.

  • Charles Butcher says:

    They’ve had enough time PROSECUTE

  • George Olivier says:

    Get the court order and force them to release the information. If the position was reversed do you think the ANC would allow the DA any leeway whatsoever. We all know the answer to that. They are attempting to stall in order to cover up their dodgy appointees.

  • Art Gee says:

    Any bets, all those Cadre’s named in these reports, are multi-millionaires!!

  • mornebeanroux says:

    I wonder if the DA got the documents

    • Ben Harper says:

      They did. yesterday evening. Every news channel in SA carried the story as it happened EXCEPT DM – I wonder why? True colours showing maybe?

  • Geoff Coles says:

    It seems pretty clear, the Minutes, top copy, would be with Ramaphosa as Chairman of the Committee, but all Committee members plus the Secretary would have copies……at least 8 I would suggest.

  • Lounge Lizard says:

    Does anyone really believe that a the bunch of inept, incompetent fools running this country actually kept detailed minutes of meetings where they conspired to put useless buddies into positions in the civil service, where they could milk extortionate salaries for doing f-all? I’m not going to hold my breath.

  • Martin Drecsler says:

    As they are busy re – writing the records, which takes them longer than expected, I just hope that they are sufficiently uneducated to falsify the metadata on the re – written records, exposing them as fraud.

  • Gavin Knox says:

    Come on now, do we really expect the caders and the boss to really hand over their own personal and national demise, the DA will get documents but nothing in them will be of any relevance… , maybe old Pretoria phone books…
    Naive to think otherwise….

    • Tony B says:

      Exactly!
      Just like all those named by the Zondo Commission have been charged and are sitting in jail.
      Oh look an ostrich just flew passed my window.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    Enough dithering and threatening, Steenhuizen. The time for action is now. Be decisive for once.

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