In a ground-breaking judgment handed down yesterday by the Johannesburg High Court, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has won its long-running battle to expose the complete records of the ANC’s national cadre deployment committee’s role in the corruption, capture and collapse of South Africa’s public sector.
South Africans will now for the very first time be able to see not only President Cyril Ramaphosa’s alleged personal complicity in state capture as former chairman of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee, but they will also get to see how the appointment of ANC cadres on the “basis of loyalty to the party rather than on merit is the true cause of our country’s rapidly failing state”, Dr Leon Schreiber – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration – said in a press statement.
In its ruling, the court found that the ANC’s refusal to make public minutes, Whatsapp conversations, email threads, CVs and all other records of its cadre deployment committee was “unlawful and invalid.” The court ordered the ANC to pay the DA’s costs in the case and to surrender, within 5 days, all of these documents dating back to 1 January 2013, when President Ramaphosa became the chairman of the cadre deployment committee.
“Ramaphosa chaired this committee all throughout the years of Jacob Zuma’s presidency, during which time the committee exercised undue influence to ensure the appointment of the corrupt cadres who captured and collapsed our state.”
The judgment dealt a blow to the ANC’s claim that “there are instances where the wishes of the Deployment Committee are not taken into account. The corollary of this is that there are indeed instances where the appointments are so made.” It also affirmed the importance of parliamentary oversight, holding that the DA’s efforts to end cadre deployment in Parliament “necessitates the disclosure of facts in relation to the appointment of individuals.” In sum, the court ruled that the DA “has set out, and prima facie established, the right which is sufficient proof for an applicant to result in his entitlement to access the record.”
The DA said that yesterday’s ruling is a “historic victory” for transparency and the rule of law in South Africa. “It creates new jurisprudence confirming that political parties are not elevated above the Constitution, and makes it clear that politicians who corruptly interfere in affairs of state cannot hide behind a veil of secrecy,” said Dr Schreiber.
“For nearly three decades, the ANC’s cadre deployment committee secretly interfered in appointments across the state, directly causing the collapsing service delivery and load shedding crisis we all experience on a daily basis. That secrecy ends now, thanks to the DA’s relentless fight for the public’s right to know the truth about cadre deployment.”
Once these records are made public, the DA calls on all sectors of society to rally behind its End Cadre Deployment Bill that is currently serving before Parliament.