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DA may have bitten off more than it can chew in cadre deployment saga

DA may have bitten off more than it can chew in cadre deployment saga
President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Harish Tyagi) | ANC supporters with a flag during a by-election campaign. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

ANC cadre deployment records released this week after DA litigation add little to what was already revealed two years ago – and now the DA may find itself in hot water of its own making.

‘ANC bends the knee; surrenders cadre deployment records to the DA,” proclaimed a statement released by DA MP Leon Schreiber on Monday, 19 February.

“Bends the knee”, a term Schreiber repeated in the body of the statement, was arguably a needlessly provocative way – with unpleasantly racialised master/subject undertones – to describe the DA’s court victory in compelling the ANC to hand over the records relating to its cadre deployment policy since 2012.

But Schreiber is no stranger to hyperbole, having originally termed his legal success in this regard “one of the great victories in SA’s legal and democratic history”.

da cadre deployment ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

There was, however, good reason to be interested in the records in question – the fact that between 2012 and 2018, the person who chaired the ANC’s cadre deployment committee was then-deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Evidence of Ramaphosa being directly implicated in some disastrous deployment decisions of the peak State Capture era would be a gift to his political opponents and could have created significant waves some three months ahead of the elections.

It was also always a long shot. Ramaphosa told the Zondo Commission in April 2021 that he could not recall minutes having been kept during the period in which he helmed the committee, due to the ANC’s “rather unfortunate record-keeping processes”.

This is, needless to say, impossibly convenient. 

But with the sitting President having given this version of events under oath to a judicial commission of inquiry, there would be no easy way to walk it back.

And so, when the ANC complied with a court order to turn over cadre deployment records to the DA on Monday, they did so by submitting an avalanche of paperwork which amounts to almost nothing useful.

1,344 pages of… very little

The dossier of 1,344 pages, now uploaded for public scrutiny by both the DA and ANC, is in parts unreadable. It also includes pages and pages of worthless information: the cover letters of those who applied for state jobs and their CVs, for instance, but with identifying details redacted.

Meanwhile, the only actual minutes supplied from the cadre deployment committee meetings are those that Schreiber, to his credit, already succeeded in having released in 2022 – covering the period from May 2018 to November 2020. This was the stretch in which former deputy president David Mabuza chaired the committee.

There is one clear sign that Ramaphosa’s claim that the committee did not keep records before this should be treated with scepticism, to say the least: the first available minutes in the dossier, from 11 May 2018, start by adopting the previous – missing – minutes from 19 March 2018.

But these 2018 to 2020 minutes have already been pored over and reported on, more than two years ago. You can read Daily Maverick’s reporting on them here and here.

By far the biggest revelation to emerge from them was that the cadre deployment committee deliberates on appointments to supposedly independent Chapter Nine institutions, to ambassadorial posts, and, most seismically, to the judiciary.

The fact that the committee discusses its preferred judge candidates also flatly contradicted what Ramaphosa told the Zondo Commission.

DA over-hyping committee powers

But even at the time of the minutes’ release in 2022, there were some reasons to believe that the DA might be over-egging the pudding in its outrage. 

One was that almost all the judge candidates preferred by the deployment committee did not succeed, meaning that President Ramaphosa felt comfortable overruling the decisions of this supposedly all-powerful committee.

Another point, made by Judges Matter campaigners Alison Tilley and Mbekezeli Benjamin at the time, was that it was likely that other political parties similarly discussed their desirable judicial candidates ahead of meetings of the judge selection body, the Judicial Service Commission.

As we also noted at the time, references from within the minutes to candidates being loyal ANC members were far less frequent than references to candidates possessing the necessary skills and experience, and being drawn from representative groups in terms of age, gender, race and geography.

All of this was aired and discussed in January 2022. It has therefore been somewhat surreal to see the DA, in concert with some willing journalists, present this information as if for the first time again this week – when the sole additions appear to be a few affidavits from ANC officials regarding the workings of the committee.

Opposition heading for trouble of its own

More seriously for the DA, however, the party could now be headed for trouble of its own.

The discussion of cadre deployment makes for reliable public outrage in certain quarters – and understandably so given the catastrophic effects of State Capture. But it has been pointed out that many – if not most – administrations around the world like to see trusted people placed in important posts. This is almost certainly true for the DA where it governs too.

Unfortunately for the opposition party, it has also now grown to a point where there is a significant volume of disgruntled former DA leaders itching to spill the beans on the party’s internal processes.

Already this week, former Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi – once touted as a shining star of the DA – took to social media to claim that the DA’s federal executive insists on approving all senior staff appointments in the municipalities it governs.

“If they have nothing to hide, they must release minutes of FEDEX and you will see that they practiced the same cadre deployment that the ANC practiced,” Baloyi posted.

The ANC, meanwhile, has threatened to go “toe-to-toe” with the DA in exposing the DA’s own cadre deployment processes.

It has the potential to get messy, even by the characteristically mucky standards of South African politics – and ultimately the DA may end up questioning whether this week’s grandstanding has been worth the price. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Joe Soap says:

    The question is did other parties have separate committees focussing specifically on this aspect as the ANC appears to have or not?

    • Duncan Greaves says:

      This is special pleading. Whether a party delegates this to a committee, or handles it through existing processes and structures, it amounts to the same thing.

      • Francois Smith says:

        The DA may have had a list for every position from the EPWP to the CEO of Eskom. The point is they could not appoint these people. Ramaphosa could and did.

        • Roelf Pretorius says:

          No, but if they were in power, would they then not do the same? There are ample indications that the DA sometimes go so far to accept the leadership of the ANC in issues where the ANC did morally outrageously unacceptable things. To mention but one example: about 15 years ago, when the DA’s building of open air toilets in Kayalitsha was exposed (in Cape Town while Zille was the mayor), Helen Zille immediately justified it by saying that the ANC also did it somewhere else. It happened in other times too; for instance in the acceptance of the floor-crossing mechanism for party list public representatives when the ANC also wanted it (in fact they were conniving with the ANC on it) in spite of the fact that in the rest of the world all floor crossings that are allowed were public representatives that are ELECTED BY A CONSTITUENCY VOTING ALONGSIDE THE NAME OF THE CANDIDATE, in other words they are not party list representatives such as was the case in SA at the time at all.

          • Glyn Morgan says:

            Quote. “No, but if they were in power, would they then not do the same?”

            No, the DA would NOT DO THE SAME. Where on earth did you get that from?

        • Duncan Greaves says:

          Well, it seems that this is exactly what they were doing where they had the power to do so.

      • Loyiso Nongxa says:

        Exactly. When are people going to grow up and move beyond looking at EVERYTHING through the lens of one political party versus another? As citizens we need professional, qualified, selfless, dedicated Public Sector employees committed to serving ordinary citizens rather than their political parties? We fail in our duty as citizens to hold political parties to account when we pander to minimizing or accentuating real or perceived failures of one party versus the other. There is such a well understood concept known as an Independent Public Service Sector.

        • Glyn Morgan says:

          I have high level marine qualifications. I could NOT get a job driving a tug in South Africa. Why? ANC politics. Competing against somebody with equal qualifications is the only way to go.

          Otherwise…. We all saw what happens when substandard (for the job) people drive submarines!

    • Bob Dubery says:

      We have a statement from a one-time rising star who left the DA that says that the DA Fedex has to approve all senior municipal appointments where the DA governs.

      • Bob Dubery says:

        And this has now become a quite interesting Twitter war. DA say that there WAS such a policy, but Maimane put it there and Zille canned it on her return. Funny how the DA never mentioned any of that when they publicly marked Maimane down on several other counts.

      • Ben Harper says:

        Having the right of approval for senior municipal appointments and having a committee determining who is sent where is two completely things

  • R S says:

    The key difference here is if the DA does “cadre deployment” and whether the government functions as it should. Because currently the ANC does “cadre deployment” and everything is coming apart outside of the Western Cape.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Exactly. Even back in the Apartheid days if an Afrikaans Nat ‘cadre’ was put in a job, he or she would be competent. With the ANC mamparras this seems to be the exception not the rule. Look at Home Affairs as a perfect example.

      • Bob Dubery says:

        Well this is the problem. As soon as party affiliation is one of the factors taken into account, we cannot be sure that the best person got the job. I worked for a government department in the 70s. It was packed with fundamentalists and racists and who hated communism even though they didn’t know what it was. It was hard to say if they were best suited to the job, because a lot of people who may have been candidates were not visible, probably had gone into private enterprise, and the obvious alternatives who were in the department were similarly boeties, the right sort of chap.

        • Middle aged Mike says:

          You look at the outcome of the appointment as that’s all that counts. Where the ANC appoints people they are almost always the very least suitable and the outcomes speak for themselves. Where the DA makes the selections the outcomes are almost universally better. No-one who stood to have their own money stolen would appoint an ANC loyalist to any position where a duty of trust was required. A brief review of the last 15 years of audit reports on municipalities should make this pretty hard to misunderstand.

          • Bob Dubery says:

            That’s a very different point than the one I responded to. I am sceptical about the notion that sure the Nats had cadre deployment, but it was for CAPABLE cadres. That wasn’t at all clear at the time. What was clear was that Government were employing a lot of white, usually Afrikaans people, to do jobs that didn’t really need doing. Like pushing buttons in elevators. Was this being kind to the (white) poorly skilled? Was it jobs for votes? Was it just sending a message (that that government very much wanted to send) to white people that under us you will all have jobs and the dignity, not to mention salary and pension, that comes with that?

            I was there in those days. There were an awful lot of white people sitting around doing not very much but getting paid for it.

            I should name the department: Posts and Telecommunications. And even then Posts was losing money, or would have if it had to go it alone. But it was P AND T, and all the money went into one kitty and T was subsidising P. So you got your letters delivered, but you could have had cheaper phone calls.

            Is that good or bad? It’s hard to say. What’s a government’s duty?

          • Roelf Pretorius says:

            You are right – but that is at municipal level. I don’t think that the appointments at municipal level are the ones that are discussed at the NATIONAL cadre deployment level; if it was, then our municipalities would have done far better (take note of what the article says: “As we also noted at the time, references from within the minutes to candidates being loyal ANC members were far less frequent than references to candidates possessing the necessary skills and experience . . .”). Besides, this committee only sits once every three months – if they had to discuss the appointments made at every municipality they would have had to sit every day. So the problem of these appointments are not at national level, but at what happens lower down, where far less wise, and far more ideologically committed & radical politicians are trying to emulate what their national leaders are doing, and making a huge hash of it.

      • Roelf Pretorius says:

        There is another difference – in the ANC I believe that at national level these persons that are appointed (other than in the time that Zuma was in power), properly competent persons ARE appointed. That is at national level. It is at municipal level where cadre deployment are completely out of hand, destroying our country.

    • David Mitchley says:

      If the cANCer were discussing the candidate’s actual skills and abilities or even qualifications they have not done a very good job of assessing these at all.
      I don’t know what Ms Davis’ gripe is with the DA, don’t think I have ever read an article by her that paints them in a good light.

      • Grenville Wilson says:


      • Roelf Pretorius says:

        That is not the point – if what she says is correct, it has to be kept in mind, irrespective of her attitude. Besides, it is easy to blame the press when all they are doing is exposing the truth. That is another failure of the DA just like the ANC – they are also leading in applying the blame game (always blaming others when they are caught with their hands in the cookie jar; the example of Helen Zille blaming the ANC for building the open air toilets after the DA was exposed doing the same comes to mind again, and that was not the only time that it happened).

    • Willem Boshoff says:

      One party’s executive insists on approving all high-level appointments to ensure they, although unqualified for the role, toe the party’s political line while helping to facilitate large-scale corruption and nepotism; another party does the same to ensure competent and trustworthy people are appointed in key roles. According to the author that amounts to the same thing? If you doubt the DA’s intentions I suggest you look at the AG’s findings of DA-run municipalities.

      • Glyn Morgan says:

        Right. Maybe Davis could write an article on that? Maybe she couldn’t?

      • Roelf Pretorius says:

        You did not properly read the article. Rebecca Davis specifically says that they talk about the qualifications and competency of the candidates far more than about their party loyalty. There is a big difference between what happens at municipal and national level, also in terms of the results. The incompetent persons that are appointed at municipalities are not discussed there; if it was, then they would have had to sit every day, not only every three months.

  • Mkili Muzenha says:

    I’m interested into how or who gave a go ahead to have in Tshwane government incompetent and under qualified DA cadres

    One was a gym instructor with no matric and was elevated into government by DA.

    Devil’s Alliance

  • Ben Harper says:

    Another pro-anc hack piece

    • Walter Spatula says:

      Sure. Rebecca Davis is a pro-ANC hack. SMH.

    • Geoff Coles says:

      It is Rebecca Davis, what would you expect.

    • Roelf Pretorius says:

      Listen, all of you are completely out of order. Rebecca Davis is only reporting the truth as every good journalist is supposed to do – the problem is all of you that don’t like the truth! She has actually exposed some of the ANC’s evils also in this same article, but apparently all of you DA fanatics did not even bother to properly read what she wrote! And she often expose the ANC exclusively in her articles. So YOU are the problem, not her; because you like to believe all the crap that you and your leaders think out yourself instead of the truth, and the reason that SA is in such a mess is specifically because South Africans tend to prefer sensation instead of the truth; but it is clear that the DA is the leader in this evil practice. So when you as the DA get less votes in the coming election than in 2019, then remember what I said now, because the voters are not just getting fed up with the ANC, they are also tired of all the DA and EFF malpractices.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    There nothing wrong with appointing people who will tow a party line. There is everything wrong with appointing people who won’t or can’t dirty their hands by even hitching the tow rope. It’s even worse when people are appointed because they are gifted at bugger all as evidenced everywhere in SA. Separating politics from service delivery is the goal but even the best municipal mangers have a political opinion and bias.

    • Peter Gibb says:

      I agree 100% with your point, but, for what it is worth, the expression is to “toe” the line rather than “tow”. From “This idiom refers to runners in a race placing their toes on the starting line and not moving until the starting signal. Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s.”

      • Bianca Albesco says:

        “Toe the line” is actually a term that has its origins in a military or naval environment where soldiers or sailors would form ranks by placing their toes behind a line drawn on a parade ground or a seam between boards on a ship’s deck.

        It only later came into use in sporting environments. Check out Wikipedia for a fuller etymology.

        It is an annoying misconception that its meaning is to pull on a rope or something.

  • Bhekinkosi Madela says:

    ANC’s version of “cadre deployment” is particularly bad because where ANC governs the line separating the party and state is simply nonexistent. This lets deployees abuse state resources for patronage. Otherwise, a party should deploy people who best understand its policies and those are likely to be its sympathizers if not members.

  • Coen Gous says:

    There is no doubt that the ANC used cadre employment. But it seems that the DA did as well at municipal level. With elections coming up, I am sure all efforts must be made in recruiting votes, and these court issues has no real value at this stage. Perhaps wait till the elections are over, and see where each party really stands

    • Ben Harper says:

      Grasping at straws! Appointing people to deliver on the mandate at senior municipal level is one thing, appointing people to loot and steal the country bare is another, but it’s ok, we know where your allegiances lie

      • Duncan Greaves says:

        This misunderstands the issue. The practice is not justified by its consequences, nor excused by the lack of them (though municipal administration is arguably much more important than you suggest.) The practice is wrong in principle. The DA’s complaint was not that cadre deployment led to negative consequences but that it is wrong in principle. Now it seems that it may have been doing the same thing.

  • Tumelo Tumelo says:

    An 11yr old captaining his Ter Horst cricket team has more insights concerning strategic and tactical nous. The DA has been shouting from the roof tops about the smoking gun that will be found in these minute, but alas nothing for the most part (tactical fail) Secondly, “cadre deployment” is honestly utilised the world over EVERY political party practice’s it: the DA does the same you just have to look at Wesgro- the hypocrisy. Surely the DA knew the likes of Bongani Baloyi would expose their hypocrisy and expose it ( strategic fail). On top of this, the DA was excoriated by the High Court this week in attempting to have “cadre deployment” declared unconstitutional. The court said the DA relied on ‘a generalised disenchantment and broad sweeping conclusions in pleading a constitutional attack’ on cadre deployment. They basically brought no facts to ground its claims ( breathtaking strategic and tactical fail). The DA continues to show itself as woeful political operators who will fail dismally to dislodge an equally woeful ANC- therein for me shows the incompetence and limited scope of the DA leadership. What defeatist ( loser) mindset as I’ve said before.

    • Paddy Ross says:

      Also agreed! There are also Maverick Insiders who invariably write anti-DA comments but never explain what it is about the DA that clearly upsets them.

      • Paddy Ross says:

        My comment was based on a comment that has since disappeared that criticised Rebecca Davis’ persistent anti-DA articles.

        • Agf Agf says:

          I think it was my comment which has disappeared. In it I stated that I was puzzled as to why Rebecca constantly slated the DA. I also stated that I was not sure if she was actually Pro ANC but was definitely anti DA.

  • Martin Neethling says:

    Davis concedes that the DA’s Schreiber ‘to his credit’ got some minutes released in 2022, which have been in the public domain since and commented on extensively by journalists, including Davis. This is high praise from a DM scribe who acknowledges ever so occasionally and through gritted teeth a DA win. But then who also uses every opportunity to cast shade – in this case Baloyi’s bitter rant on X.
    The real issue is that cadre deployment – the wrong people put in non-elected positions within SOE’s, Chapter 9’s, administrative posts and so on – has wrecked much of our capacity to do anything – a glaring take out from the Zondo commission and a point made repeatedly by Judge Zondo, yet no-one, other than the DA, is prepared to do anything about it. No other political party, part time political aspirant, or any of the many left-leaning English speaking and writing journalists, do anything other than talk about it, sometimes negatively and at other times ‘well, everyone does this’. Schreiber and the DA tackle it head on – and indeed maybe this is one fight they don’t win – but actions speak so much louder than words.
    Almost certainly, once Baloyi’s accusations surface more info, we’ll see that discussions dealing with appointments in DA municipalities revolved around elected officials (politicians in other words), and embedded cadres in admin (usually procurement positions) that are suspected, accused or even guilty of corruption. Both would be legitimate conversations.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Martin if the DA carries the mindset that it governs better than other parties and different on how they deploy they run the risk of believing their own lies.
      Politics is numbers that the party can have to convert into votes and cadres who bring those numbers are rewarded.
      It becomes a problem when they are rewarded in positions that they cannot perform in due to educational challenges.
      The DA is no exception to this, I know leaders who only have matric but have a talent that beats those with phd’s.
      The DA must get out concrete jungle and go to poor communities and ask them how can they be of service to them, learn the African culture, find the real needs not what they assume.
      Stop ranking their performance against the failures of the ANC rather focus on the successes of the ANC, by doing that they will learn the art of bringing diverse populations into a common purpose that can convert into votes.
      Erase the federal mentality it makes them sound like paramount chiefs of the Western Cape.
      We have too many parties and the quality of what they present gives more anxiety than solutions.

    • Roelf Pretorius says:

      All you DA people should take note that it is not just Baloy that are accusing the DA of this, but also Herman Mashaba – and he was not pushed out of the DA, he resigned out of his own will because of what was going on in the DA, just like me.

  • Tim Bester says:

    Any hint of DA sucess sticks in the craw of the SACP/anc cadres and their journalistic flag bearers. This aretcle is no exception.

  • Lynda Tyrer says:

    The anc can appoint their own BUT for goodness sake stop recycling useless cadres you find the right candidate that is well qualified experienced and knows the portfolio or post inside out. Just look at the ones they have in charge, a teacher for police who suddenly becomes a general, a civil engineer in charge of electricity, a pharmacist in charge of SOEs, the list goes on and on . This country is a mess because the anc have no experiences to run anything correctly.

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    The evidentiary issue is noted, and it is not at all surprising that there is such scarcity of records regarding appointments. However, it is quite clear that there has been substantial abuse of Cadre deployment, which is as highlighted in the State Capture Report, been an important mechanism for State Capture and corruption. As emphasised, mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that appointments cannot be used as mechanisms for state capture and corruption, and also to ensure that there are only competent persons appointed to key posts, and that good governance is established in institutions. The State Capture Commission made important recommendations in that regard, which should be addressed along the lines proposed, or through other alternative effective mechanisms being put in place. The powers of appointments by the President and Ministers in all legislation should be reviewed and likely significantly reduced. There should likely be oversight of many of those appointments by the Public Service Commission, a similar body for public entities, and in relation to certain positions, Parliament.

    The article also does not deal with the important sections in the report where the State Capture Commission called into question the constitutionality of cadre deployment as practiced by the ANC, based on the evidence submitted to it.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Cadre deployment and racist BEE policies are the bedrock of the ANC and have plunged this country into 3rd world chaos! We don’t have to discuss it – evidence of this fact is everywhere for all to see. So let’s just get over it and accept it as “ redistribution of wealth” ( for some!) and get on with the business of saving what we can of what was once a vibrant economy and try to provide jobs and a living for all!

    • Karl Sittlinger says:

      “So let’s just get over it and accept it as “ redistribution of wealth” ( for some!) and get on with the business of saving what we can”

      Yet herein lies the crux of the matter: as long as the ANC can deploy their cadres, in most cases we will not have the smartest and most capable people controlling things like ESKOM. And without that, “saving what we can of what was once a vibrant economy and try to provide jobs and a living for all” is simply impossible. You cannot grow an economy without power, logistics and soon to be added to that list, water. The whole country should be up in arms about this, as it has literally had a significant part in destroying this country.

    • Coen Gous says:

      Well, you indeed sound cranky

  • Nonnie Oelofse says:


  • Greg Deegan says:

    “Bends the knee”, a term Schreiber repeated in the body of the statement, was arguably a needlessly provocative way – with unpleasantly racialised master/subject undertones”

    Why, Rebecca, was it necessary to begin your article in this “needlessly provocative way”?

    “Bend the knee”? When athletes “bend the knee” in support of BLM, does the action have “racialised master/subject undertones?

    Ask yourself, did the DA take this action solely for their own electioneering purposes, or for the benefit of all South Africans who have a right to know?

    Shoddy article!

    • Paul Harvey says:

      Agreed. Normally I don’t read her articles to protect my blood pressure. Nevertheless, equating the DA (a typical political party, warts and all) with the ANC (a criminal cabal, systematically destroying our country), as she regularly likes to do, is outrageous.

    • Bob Dubery says:

      The expression the athletes used (starting with Kaepernick) is “TAKE a knee”. The two then are different. Taking a knee is voluntary, bending the knee is not. The latter is a display of deference to a higher rank, even when the rank is not earned but is a matter of birth.

    • Duncan Greaves says:

      You’re thinking of “taking a knee”. To “bend the knee” normally means to submit humbly. I’m quite sure that was the way in which Schreiber intended it.

  • Fernando Moreira says:

    Rebecca , Rebecca read the Zondo Commissions declaration on cadre deployment , maybe Judge Zondo has been “captured” by the DA.
    Cadre deployment is about the ANC at the moment ,nothing else .
    Very poor again Rebecca

  • Geoff Coles says:

    To say this article is unbalanced would be mild.
    Rebecca, we know you hate the DA, but at least, please, reflect on your scribblings.

  • Ivan van Heerden says:

    The circular firing squad that is the Personality Cult formerly known as the DA continues ad nauseum! The fact that they haven’t yet worked out that telling black voters what they do and showing them is far more important than yaggering on about the ANC who everyone in this country knows is entirely corrupt.

  • Gregory Scott says:

    I promote staff on their competence and the value they add to the business.
    If this is cadre deployment then I am guilty.
    The question in my mind is whether my decision will result in added value and if so the decision is correct.

  • Desmond Bob says:

    Many here are shifting the goal post now, since it has been shown that cadre deployment is a practiced even by the likes of the DA, they claim the issue is about incompetence not cadre deployment. The DA ran Gqeberha, runs Tshwane and Ekurhuleni very incompetently. The truth is that the court action against the ANC deployment policy was poorly conceptualized, it was a demonstration of legal incompetence on the part of the DA legal team, the issue has never been about cadre deployment as the DA has made it out to be over many years, it has always been about the competence of those deployed and holding them to account. All parties in South Africa are to varying degrees guilty of deploying people who are either under qualified or incompetent in the positions they are deployed in. Which “party of merit” will remove shining stars like Lindiwe Mazibuko, Mmusi Miamane, Bongani Baloyi etc. and chose as its leader instead a loud mouth matriculant? Many who whine about “competence” on this page have only their historical privilege to thank for the imagined “success” and “competence”. The NP deployed multitudes of incompetent individuals who survived by relying on the competence of their subordinates who could not take the credit due to the prevailing conditions at the time – today we are told “at least the NP was competent not withstanding its corruption” and narrow mandate to meet the needs of only a few at the expense of the many.

  • Rae Earl says:

    Seems to me that Rebecca Davis wants the ANC to stay in power. Her fishing out of negatives in any DA issues at present and stressing them in articles simply clouds perceptions of the party to its supporters. The country desperately needs to get the ANC out of majority rule and, hopefully if possible, any coalition rule. If they remain, so does the rot.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    “Bends the knee”, a term Schreiber repeated in the body of the statement, was arguably a needlessly provocative way – with unpleasantly racialised master/subject undertones – to describe the DA’s court victory in compelling the ANC to hand over the records relating to its cadre deployment policy since 2012.

    What utter nonsense. There’s nothing remotely racialised in the use of the term which probably came into the language before anyone who used it had ever laid eyes on a black person. Statements like that say so much more about the writers world view and hangups than it does about their subject.

    • robby 77 says:

      Quite right – certainly a reach indeed. I am sure the naked and explicit racism and hate speech of the ANC and it’s EFF buddies don’t bother the author too much. Well at least I haven’t seen it. I guess that’s just progressive..

    • Alan Watkins says:

      1 Comment

      The word genuflect​ (referring to the act of touching your knee to the floor to show respect) was first used in a 1630 collection of writings by the poet John Taylor. That was back-formed from the noun genuflection, which is about a hundred years older. It comes from Medieval Latin genuflectionem, from Latin genuflectere, which literally means “bend the knee”, being composed of the word for “knee”, genu, and “bend”, flectere. Genu, also a rare anatomical term in English, traces to a Proto-Indo-European root that was spelled the same and meant “angle”. Flectere, which is part of the words deflect, reflect, and flex, is reconstructed as deriving from Proto-Italic flekto, and beyond that it has unknown Proto-Indo-European origins. Usage of genuflect in literature peaked in the late 1940s and has sharply declined since.

      Also references to knights bending the knee during knighting process.

      Rebecca is on drugs if she finds racial undertones or racial master/servant undertones

  • Is there hope South Africa? says:

    There are too many people who blindly praise the DA and defend everything they do. They certainly have not made a success up north in Johannesburg/Tshwane/Ekurhuleni. The truth is there is no perfect party in South Africa – the DA is about the best of a bad bunch, but they are certainly not without fault.

    • robby 77 says:

      Those are loose and somewhat weak coalitions. The W Cape is not. And some coalition partners are always plotting to stab them in the back it seems. No good governance can come from that.

  • Ritey roo roo says:

    Oh Rebecca, bend your knee and sit down please.

  • Just Me says:

    The truth is that the DA have a very good point with the case and it is worthy of pursuing because the other truth is that ANC cadre deployment is killing our economy.

    Fundementallt, the list system of democracy is not good for SA at all and allows this type of nonsense.

    • David Mitchley says:

      Totally agree, proportional representation is wrong, leads to “elected” politicians who are beholden to their political masters for their position instead of beholden to the electorate for their position.

  • Matthew Quinton says:

    Potentially the biggest shock in store for the few South Africans who want change will be the realisation that the ANC was never the problem.
    The ANC is getting all these votes despite running SA into the ground and clearly failing on pretty much every observable front.
    What if the majority of voters really honestly don’t see it that way?
    Why is the EFF growing so quickly when they are obviously crooks?
    Why does MK even get oxygen when Zuma is clearly a criminal by any normal country’s standards?
    What if 30 years from now we have endured another 7 rounds of the same BS with more of exactly the same politics prevalent in every Sub-Saharan country?
    What if this is it people? What if THIS IS the South Africa that most South Africans actually want?
    What if it turns out that the ANC was the best of the bunch and it actually gets worse from here on in?
    Is it possible that our Western paradigm is simply out of sync with the tribal mentality of Sub Saharan Africa?
    Could it be that we will NEVER again experience a country which is run efficiently, where our infrastructure is maintained and our tax spent honestly?
    Perhaps the only remaining vestiges of civilisation will be gated estates and high security buildings which generate their own power and water?
    I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves… is there a single country in this part of the world that gives a glimmer of hope that the future could be anything else?

  • Donal Slemon says:

    I find it revelatory how both the author and commentary operate from the assumption that the documentation handed over is genuine, and not concocted.
    We are after all talking about an organisation that exhibits blatant dishonesty as one of its defining characteristics. If I were in their weakened position my first reaction would be to throw together a mass of pseudo – relevant looking communiqués and minutes, to give the impression of compliance. Not particularly hard to do.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      In a previous life I was a consultant and my boss had a well battle tested tactic for dealing with client representatives who turned the heat up on us. She called it ‘papier gooi’ and it involved assembling a huge trove of material and binding it into a bank vault sized doorstop and dropping it in their laps. This is nothing more than that. Just another anc can kicking, court order rubbishing box ticking exercise.

  • John Cartwright says:

    Thoughtful and well balanced article.

    • Duncan Greaves says:

      Indeed! It puzzled me that all the DA supporters are so upset at a perfectly reasonable piece of journalism.

      But then I read the High Court judgement.


  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Yes – I recall that, when Helen Zille of the DA replaced the ANC’s mayor in 2006 after the election, the first thing that was done was to remove the municipal mayor and to put someone of the DA’s liking in his place. And the candidates for mayors in municipalities of the DA are also decided upon by the national (or as they call it, federal) leadership, no matter that it is completely unconstitutional for the national leadership of a political party to interfere in a local decision like that.

  • Cameron murie says:

    The DA gives me the impression they are a spent force. I say this as one who strongly believes in the importance of well organized opposition in politics. They are not going to be elected to govern the land, and have no visible plan to move the country one way or another. It’s safe to ignore them, generally.

  • Grant S says:

    Cadre deployment is to be expected in any government elected space. It’s kind of the point of being ‘in power’. All the back and forth and the authors comment about biting off more than can be chewed…. who cares. The only thing that matters is the reason for the cadre deployment when it comes to the ANC was not about appointment on merit or capacity to deliver the right outcome for South Africa, but purely to control the kitty. Access to the money. Same old story. Rob the country blind while it crumbles. I guess it’s far easier to write journalistic commentary that points a finger at the accuser, but the crus of the matter remains, the ANC’s cadres were almost wholly destructive.

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