President meets with Presidential Special Envoys on Investment
President meets with Presidential Special Envoys on Investment Photo: GCIS

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Democratic Alliance (DA) have this weekend submitted to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture an extensive list of questions to be posed to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

DA Leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement on Tuesday:

“As ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa needs to explain why his party is still pursuing its explicit project of state capture, through their formal policy of cadre deployment, which directs that state institutions are staffed by ANC loyalists, so as to gain party control of all levers of the state, including those meant to check and balance power. He needs to explain his role in state capture, and why as ANC president he has made no move to end the practice of cadre deployment.”

The list of questions for President Ramaphosa at the Zondo Commission include:

  • When did you become chairperson of the ANC’s deployment committee?
  • Why does the ANC have a cadre deployment committee?
  • Are you aware of any instance where a political party aside from the ANC has ever enjoyed the privilege of informing a selection process that they wanted one of their members appointed to a particular position in the public sector?
  • Would it be accurate to say that as the former chairperson of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee, you believe that senior positions in the public service, the public administration, state-owned entities, municipalities and other government agencies should be staffed primarily by people who have proven themselves to be “loyal” to the ANC?
  • Section 197 (3) of the Constitution stipulates that “No employee of the public service may be favoured or prejudiced only because that person supports a particular political party or cause”. Given that cadre deployment is expressly designed to favour members of the ANC deemed “loyal” by the deployment committee while being prejudiced against applicants who are not members of the ANC when it comes to appointment decisions, do you agree that the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment violates section 197 (3) of the Constitution?

Steenhuisen asserts that the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment is the root cause of state capture and “the terrible effects of which were further revealed last week when South Africans learned that over R9 billion of taxpayer money was siphoned from the State Security Agency (SSA) to fund nefarious ANC activities, including “ANC projects” (most likely a destabilization campaign) in the Western Cape. Unless the Zondo Commission addresses this root cause, South Africa’s problems will persist.

ANC captured the state, not the Guptas

“The list of state capture scandals revealed by the Zondo Commission extends far beyond the Guptas. But never beyond the ANC. The ANC is the common denominator in all state capture scandals, because it is the ANC that has captured the state, not the Guptas. The Guptas were merely a side show, who saw the private opportunities that the ANC’s state capture project offered. Which is why even when the Guptas exited the stage, the state capture show went on,” alleges Steenhuisen.


According to the DA, the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment was formally adopted by the party at their Mafikeng Conference in 1997.

“It was explicitly designed to undermine the constitutional principle of separation of party and state, and thereby to capture the state. Hence state capture is explicit ANC policy, and Ramaphosa, as head of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee from 2013 to 2017, has played a central role bringing it about,” says Steenhuisen.

Once cadre deployment became formal ANC policy, 3 outcomes became inevitable, says the DA:

  1. the evolution of the ANC from political party to a conglomerate of competing criminal syndicates giving rise to endemic corruption in South Africa;
  2. the failure of political accountability mechanisms in South Africa; and
  3. an incapable South African state unable to deliver on its most basic responsibilities to its citizens.

Steenhuisen says: “The ANC’s cadre deployment policy is the root cause of the incompetence and corruption that is destroying South Africa.”

He says there are only two ways out of this predicament:

“Either the ANC jettisons its policy of cadre deployment, or citizens jettison the ANC. Forcing Ramaphosa to answer these questions at the Zondo Commission will expedite the solution, one way or another,” says Steenhuisen.