President Cyril Ramaphosa will testify at the Zondo commission for four days next month.
Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Wednesday morning the commission had set aside April 22 and 23 and April 28 and 29 for the ANC and Ramaphosa in his capacity as the “president of the country and former deputy president” to give testimony before the commission.
Zondo clarified that the first two days were specifically set aside for the ANC to give testimony while April 28 and 29 were set aside for Ramaphosa.
“April 22 and 23 are dates provided for the governing party, the ANC … I understand president Ramaphosa will testify representing the ANC, but I have indicated that from the commission’s side, the president will have to testify as president of the country and former deputy president. On April 28 and 29, that is when president Ramaphosa will be testifying in his capacity as president of the country,” said Zondo.
The announcement comes just days after civil rights group AfriForum applied to the state capture commission to cross-examine Ramaphosa on the ANC’s cadre deployment policy.
AfriForum specifically requested that Ramaphosa be cross-examined on the ANC’s cadre deployment policy and also asked to be allowed to make submissions and cross-examine the president in this regard. It said Ramaphosa was chairperson of the ANC cadre deployment committee from 2013 to 2016.
“During this time, several individuals who today are accused of corruption and state capture were appointed to key positions on the grounds of their loyalty to the ANC,” read the statement.
Ernst Roets, head of policy and action at AfriForum, said the ANC’s cadre deployment was the most important contributing factor to corruption and state capture.
“The ANC is outspoken about its approach that loyalty to the party is a decisive factor as far as appointments to key positions in the government are concerned. Apparently, this carries even more weight than merit and the ability to do the work.
“What is cloaked in secrecy, however, is exactly what this committee has been doing, and what individuals have been appointed to key positions on the grounds of their loyalty to the party,” Roets said.
The policy, Roets said, not only covered deployments in key positions but also the redeployment of party loyalists.
Ramaphosa was implicated by former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe in his testimony in January and again this month. Molefe accused Ramaphosa of using his political power to assist mining multinational Glencore in its efforts to extort R8 billion from Eskom.
He also claimed that Ramaphosa provided political protection to Optimum coal mine when he was deputy president of the ANC. As a result, Ramaphosa had been made a shareholder in Optimum, he said.