Following months of sustained pressure by the DA, the State Capture Commission has made public the minutes of ANC cadre deployment committee meetings. Since the minutes only appear to date back to 2018, the DA will continue our court battle to also publicise cadre deployment records from before 2018 – when President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the committee that captured, corrupted and collapsed our state.
The minutes show that, between 3 December 2018 and 17 May 2021 under the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s cadre deployment committee interfered in the appointment of senior public servants to at least 96 different government departments, agencies and the boards of state-owned enterprises.
Just as shocking is the fact that the minutes indicate that applicants in some cases applied directly to the ANC’s deployment committee. “Applications for deployment” were discussed as a standing item during numerous meetings. If it is indeed the case that applicants send their applications and CVs directly to the ANC rather than to the government, it makes a complete mockery of the state’s own appointment process because it is the ANC that ultimately decides who gets employed.
These records reveal the fundamental truth that state capture was a deliberate and systematic project undertaken by the ANC through its cadre deployment committee to capture every single state institution in the country to serve the party and its corrupt ends, rather than the people of South Africa.
This interference started at the very highest levels of our state, as the minutes show that the ANC’s cadre deployment committee pre-selected the appointment of judges Majiedt and Tshiqi to the Constitutional Court, thereby turning the Judicial Service Commission into a mere rubber stamp. The committee also pre-selected judge Petse for appointment to the Supreme Court of Appeal, judge Molahleli to the Labour Court, and judge Phatswane to the Northern Cape Division. The minutes show that the ANC similarly interfered in the appointment of the deputy chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission – which is supposed to be an independent Constitutional entity – as well as the board of the public broadcaster, the SABC.
The ANC’s capture of our state through its cadre deployment committee extends deep into every part of the South African state. The records obtained by the DA show that its tentacles have deployed “loyal cadres” that serve the ANC rather than the people of South Africa into every conceivable state institution, including institutions that play a role in safeguarding our country’s national and economic security. In addition to interfering in appointments to the judiciary, the public broadcaster and the Human Rights Commission, the ANC also sought to deploy party cadres to the Defence Force Service Commission and the ARMSCOR board, the nuclear energy board, PetroSA, and the Central Energy Fund.
The ANC’s cadre deployment committee further oversaw the appointment of party cadres rather than qualified and independent professionals to critical service delivery institutions. This includes the Rand Water CEO and the Nkomati, Bloemfontein, TransCaledon and Amatola, Lepelle Northern, Umgeni, Magalies and Sedibeng Water Boards. Even as the cadre deployment committee considered these appointments, it noted – apparently without irony – that “there is no water in Jagersfontein in the Free State.” The ANC similarly interfered with appointments to the South African Post Office board, the transport department, PRASA, the Road Accident Fund, the Post Bank, the National Lottery, the Railway Safety Regulator, and SANParks.
The deployment committee also apparently worked to appoint loyal cadres as Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Principal of the National School of Government despite the fact that these institutions are supposed to oversee the much-vaunted professionalisation of the public service.
These records vindicate the DA’s decades-long battle against cadre deployment. They confirm that the ANC has completely usurped the power to appoint officials throughout our state. The records also show that the ANC consistently appointed officials on the basis of the deployment committee’s opinions of the candidates, or on the basis of race, gender or other identity markers, rather than competence.
The public release of these records signals a critical turning point in the DA’s historic battle to end cadre deployment and build a capable state where officials are appointed strictly on the basis of their ability to do the job. We will consider and announce next steps in the coming days.