DA's cadre deployment case postponed as judge issues an ultimatum to ANC

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President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
PHOTO: Jeffrey Abrahams, Gallo Images
  • The DA's case to have the ANC's cadre deployment committee documents since 2013 made public was postponed in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
  • After the ANC changed its legal representation at the eleventh hour, it now has 10 days to file its heads of argument.
  • The DA says it wants to expose the role President Cyril Ramaphosa played as head of the committee in appointing "corrupt individuals" in the state.

The DA's application to force the ANC to provide documents of its cadre deployment committee while President Cyril Ramaphosa was its chairperson has been postponed in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

This came after the ANC changed its legal representation on Friday, and the new counsel didn't have time to prepare.

The ANC wanted a postponement of 90 days, but the DA opposed the application for the postponement. The ANC also hasn't filed its heads of argument.

While expressing misgivings about the ANC's conduct, Judge Fiona Dippenaar granted the ANC 10 days to file its heads of argument, failing which, its defence will be struck from the proceedings.

She also ordered that the ANC pay the DA's costs for Wednesday's proceedings.

READ | Ramaphosa commits to implementing Zondo Commission's findings

The DA wants the ANC to make public the complete records – including meeting minutes, documentation, emails and WhatsApp messages – of its cadre deployment committee dating back to 1 January 2013.

Ramaphosa chaired the committee from 2013 to 2018.

"The purpose of the DA's case is to provide complete transparency to the people of South Africa by exposing the personal role played by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the deployment committee between 2013 and 2018, in appointing the corrupt individuals who captured and collapsed the state," DA MP Leon Schreiber said in a statement on Tuesday.

Schreiber has been leading the DA's charge to outlaw cadre deployment.

The DA and the Zondo Commission tried to obtain the ANC deployment committee's minutes for 2012 to 2017.

In its correspondence with the State Capture Inquiry, the ANC said the minutes of the deployment committee during this period couldn't be found.

READ | 'Devastating' ANC deployment committee minutes reveal Ramaphosa had to apologise for sidelining it

However, after many letters between the DA, the inquiry and the ANC – and a Promotion of Access to Information Act application or two – the minutes of committee meetings between May 2018 and May 2021 were published in August 2021. It can be obtained on the commission's website (the minutes start at page CR-PRES-231).

Testifying before the commission in August 2021, Ramaphosa said minutes for the meetings from 2012 to 2017 "do not exist".

In his final report, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo took a dim view of the missing minutes.

He also found that the cadre deployment policy was unconstitutional and unlawful and aided state capture.

"It had repeatedly recommended individuals alleged to be involved in corruption or other unethical behaviour, as well as individuals with public ties to the Gupta family, who were publicly known since 2011 to be involved in corruption," read the report.

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