Gwede Mantashe confirms that the ANC corruptly uses cadre deployment to influence government appointments. You can help the DA end this evil practice

Please find attached a soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP

Although he carefully cloaked his testimony in front of the State Capture Commission in the language of denial, former ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe yesterday confirmed the warnings about cadre deployment that the DA has issued for more than a quarter of a century. It is time to accept that cadre deployment – which gives the ANC the power to influence civil service appointments that are supposed to be non-political in nature – is a fundamental cause of corruption and state capture.

But it is also not enough for political parties to complain about the problem. We need solutions – which is why the DA has already gazetted our intention to publish the End Cadre Deployment Bill.

During his testimony yesterday, a visibly uncomfortable Mantashe attempted to dismiss a cadre deployment memorandum which had apparently been issued by the ANC in June 2020, and which the DA had earlier submitted to the Commission as part of our request for cadre deployment to be interrogated, as “fake.” However, in his subsequent testimony, Mantashe inadvertently confirmed the contents of the memorandum, which instructed ANC “comrades” that no appointment of a Director-General, boards of state-owned enterprises, board chairpersons or CEOs should be “taken to cabinet without passing through the deployment committee first.”

In another instance, Mantashe confirmed that he had personal experience of how the cadre deployment committee interfered with the appointment process. In one case, he says he submitted “five names” on a “long list” of candidates to the committee. But the ANC’s cadre deployment committee disapproved of the gender composition of the list, with Mantashe then admitting that he took the committee’s response as a “directive” to revise the list. Although he may be too ideologically blinded to see it, this single example already amounts to smoking gun evidence that the ANC uses cadre deployment to exercise unconstitutional influence over government appointments.

The DA hopes that the Commission will continue to delve into the role of cadre deployment in facilitating state capture. In the wake of Mantashe’s revelations, it is now even more urgent that ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is compelled to answer the questions we have submitted to the Commission on Ramaphosa’s role as the chairperson of the deployment committee between 2013 and 2017.

Mantashe has confirmed that the committee interferes in government appointments. Now we need to know how Ramaphosa aided and abetted this unconstitutional process.

The DA has also put a solution on the table. Our intention to introduce the End Cadre Deployment Bill (formally called the Public Administration Laws General Amendment Bill) to Parliament has officially been published in the government gazette for public comment. We invite South Africans to read and comment on the Bill by going to the following link.

All comments on the Bill must be emailed to speaker@parliament.gov.za and copied to leon.schreiberei@gmail.com before the end of April.

The End Cadre Deployment Bill will make it illegal for any person who holds office in a political party to be employed as a professional civil servant in the state, and directs the Public Service Commission (PSC) to enforce the requirement that all appointments be based strictly on merit. The Bill makes it a criminal offence to appoint a civil servant on the basis of political loyalty rather than demonstrated merit.

The DA’s End Cadre Deployment Bill will bring an end to the violations that Mantashe’s testimony has confirmed. Brick by brick, the Bill will rebuild the separation between party and state that the ANC has completely erased through their evil policy of cadre deployment.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

DA one step closer to justice for South Africans unfairly stripped of their citizenship

The DA will be one step closer to justice for South Africans who were unfairly stripped of their citizenship when the Gauteng Division of the High Court hears our case against the Department of Home Affairs on 10 May 2021.

Since 1995 South African citizens have been effectively stripped of their citizenship, often without any knowledge that this has occurred, due to Section 6(1)(a) of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 stating that a citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen if he or she by some voluntary and formal act, other than marriage, acquires the citizenship or nationality of a country other than South Africa.

Currently, the only recourse that South Africans have to avoid this when applying for an additional citizenship, is to apply to the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, to allow them to retain their South African citizenship. If a citizen does not apply for retention of citizenship and proceeds with the application for the citizenship of another country, then they are deprived of their South African citizenship. This is the case even if the citizen does not know the relevant arcane section of the Citizenship Act.

However, this service remains closed even under lockdown level 1 despite the DA informing the Minister that citizens will be denied their constitutional right to citizenship and requesting that the service be urgently reopened.

The Department has failed to answer a written parliamentary question submitted by the DA regarding the medical, scientific, or Covid-19-risk related reasons these services remain closed.

The DA submitted its heads of argument to the High Court in late 2020, arguing that:

  • Section 6(1)(a) of the Act is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid;
  • All persons who had lost their South African citizenship in terms of Section 6(1)(a) of the Act on or after 6 October 1995 are South African citizens; and
  • That all persons referred to above may apply to the Minister in terms of Section 15 of the Act for the appropriate certificate of citizenship.

If the DA is successful, we will overturn the effects of the unfair stripping of citizenship. Nobody should be stripped of their citizenship unwittingly and the DA and DA Abroad will fight for the constitutional rights of all South Africans, at home and abroad.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

Halting of vaccine rollout spells disaster for healthcare workers and most vulnerable 

 Please find attached soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

The DA is opposed to the decision and subsequent announcement made by the Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, to halt the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine to the remaining healthcare workers who are yet to be vaccinated two months into the trial phase.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is said to be investigating adverse effects that can be attributed to the use of the J&J vaccine. This investigation needs to be concluded speedily in order for South Africa to resume and significantly ramp up the rollout of this life-saving vaccine which has been an unmitigated disaster thus far.

The statistical significance of 6 people out of close to 7 million who have had adverse effects in the United States pales in comparison to the devastating impact a possible third wave of Covid-19 infections could have. Leading academics and experts – who must absolutely lead the decision-making on this – have not been in support of government’s decision in this regard.

It then begs the question why such a drastic step has been taken.

Is it simply because government is shielding its own poor performance on the vaccine rollout so far?

In addition, this kind of ‘stop-start’ approach could be incredibly damaging to the public perception of vaccination when the risks seem almost negligible statistically and scientifically.

It makes little sense to copy countries like the United States where the context is very different. The United States has the luxury of being able to temporarily suspend administration of the J&J vaccine because they have already vaccinated millions of their citizens and have various vaccines in circulation. Halting the administering of one vaccine does not impact them as much as it could impact South Africa, since we currently only have tiny quantities of this single vaccine available to us.

The South African government has failed spectacularly thus far to procure a variety of vaccines in bulk, to reach the 1.2 million healthcare workers targeted, to produce a general rollout plan, and to move beyond the trial phase of the vaccine rollout.

The rollout has been criminally slow.

The only rational approach to vaccine administration is a cost-benefit analysis of the risks South Africa faces. Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our country – costing thousands of lives and millions of livelihoods. The risk of adverse effects is negligible when compared to the risks associated with a possible 3rd wave of C0vid-19 infections.

We call on the Minister and SAHPRA to conclude these deliberations and assure South Africans that this is not merely a scapegoating exercise to shield government from accountability.

We need to get to the business of saving lives and livelihoods by launching a real vaccine rollout programme.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

Ramaphosa and ANC must condemn Zuma’s attack on judiciary 

The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn former President Jacob Zuma’s latest attack on the integrity of the judiciary in a letter sent to the Chief Justice yesterday. Zuma is playing a dangerous game by undermining the highest court in our land and the failure of President Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn their former leader’s actions is tantamount to an implied approval of his latest attack on the judiciary.

Last week, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng provided the former president with an opportunity to file an affidavit to outline what Zuma believed would be an appropriate sentence should he be found guilty of contempt of court. Given that Zuma has chosen to not participate in any of the court proceedings since their inception, this opportunity was a generous courtesy offered by the Constitutional Court not typically offered to an ordinary accused.

Instead of accepting this offer, Zuma chose to reply with a letter rather than an affidavit claiming that he did not wish to validate the “sham” of the court proceedings and that the Court was determined to send him to prison.

Zuma has evaded justice for far too long. It is disgraceful that the ANC have not only encouraged this type of behaviour but have failed to condemn Zuma’s latest attack on the judiciary. It is even more shocking that Ramaphosa was heard telling Zuma, in a leaked ANC top 6 video, that he views him as “my leader and as my elder in the ANC”. As President of the country, Ramaphosa in particular, needs to step up and condemn these attacks on the judiciary. Even if the ANC remains silent, he, as the leader of the country, should speak up when someone as prominent as a former president undermines the judiciary.

Zuma further criticised the lawfulness of the State Capture Commission, reasserted his claims of judicial bias and arrogantly challenged the Court to imprison him. He also lied in claiming that he had only been offered 3 days to respond, when he was in fact given 5 days to file an affidavit he had no legal right to make in the first place.

It is time our president found a better, more ethical leader than Zuma. The DA calls on President Ramaphosa to condemn Zuma’s blatant attack on the judiciary. Any failure to censure the former ANC president should be viewed as tacit approval of Zuma’s disgraceful actions.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

The DA calls for SAA’s new acting CEO to appear before SCOPA

The DA is astounded by the appointment of Thomas Kgokolo as the acting SAA CEO. He is the latest person appointed to run the embattled airline despite having no experience in running an airline.

Kgokolo has no real competitive commercial experience in any private sector let alone the airline industry and therefore chances of him making SAA profitable are to all intents and purposes non-existent.

He will undoubtedly be paid a very handsome salary and allowances even whilst SAA is under the administration of the business rescue practitioners so one wonders what value SAA and the taxpayer will get from the payments to Kgokolo and his executive. Surprisingly, SAA seemingly has enough money to pay high salaries, allowances and fees to the SAA CEO, other executives and the SAA board members, not forgetting the business rescue practitioners, Siviwe Dongwana and Les Matuson, but does not have enough money to pay employees their full salaries.

The DA calls for the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to invite Thomas Kgokolo, the new acting CEO of SAA, to appear before the committee to explain what he, as a chartered accountant, is going to do to ensure that the annual financial statements for SAA which have not been tabled in parliament for the last three years are published without any further delay. He will be held accountable and will be acting as a delinquent director if he follows in the footsteps of his predecessors and fails to produce the financial statements

The DA holds the view that there is little or nothing left of SAA and its subsidiaries and this move to hire a person with no competitive commercial experience in the airline industry is but an exercise in futility to keep the ANC vanity project alive at taxpayer’s expense.

There is no way that SAA will succeed as a state-owned enterprise under the continual interference of ANC politicians and without ongoing taxpayer bailouts.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

DA demands audit as fraudsters help themselves to struggling farmers’ relief vouchers 

The DA calls on the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms. Thoko Didiza, to commission an independent audit of her Department’s farmer relief voucher scheme. This follows claims made by farmers on social media platforms, indicating serious irregularities and possible fraud.

According to these reports, various individuals used forged paperwork, claiming to be distressed farmers, and gained access to relief funding. These fake farmers are now reportedly attempting to sell the relief vouchers to the real farmers, who are in desperate need for relief.

Minister Didiza must without delay commission an audit of her Department’s relief scheme, in order to establish the extent of the fraud and the possible involvement of Departmental officials. The maladministration and rot that besets her Department, which undoubtedly contributed to making these fraudulent claims possible, must be curbed, and any officials found to be involved must be held to account.

Struggling small-scale farmers are now left out in the cold, unable to meet their production inputs because the system ostensibly designed to help them has been infiltrated by criminals and the Department does not seem to be doing anything to stop it.

The DA will also submit a series of parliamentary questions to get to the bottom of the matter.

The Department’s inability to protect the livelihood of farmers, compromising the entire country’s food security in the process, must not be allowed to continue. The time has come for the Minister to hold herself and her Department accountable for their failures.

DA to submit a supplementary affidavit to the Zondo Commission

The DA this month received a response from the office of the Public Protector relating to an old request for an investigation into allegations of corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The letter, as received, will be submitted to the Commission of Enquiry into State Capture.

In May 2018 I lodged a complaint with the Public Protector, requesting an investigation into allegations of corruption at PRASA. The allegations related to the purchase of a Sandton property by previous PRASA Group Chief Executive Officer, Lucky Montana. Reports indicated that the property was bought with money that was alleged to have been received from a third party with connections to Siyangena Technologies – a company that had been awarded a R4 billion contract by PRASA (later irregularly extended) during Mr. Montana’s tenure as Group CEO. Ownership of the property was later transferred to Mr. Montana’s name.

Earlier this month, I received a formal response from the office of the Public Protector that indicates that a criminal investigation into this matter is currently being pursued by the Hawks, and that the office of the Public Protector is further looking into allegations about PRASA employees conducting business with the entity.

The DA will be including this information in an additional supplementary submission, which submission was requested by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo after my testimony before the Zondo Commission in February this year.

Gordhan must declare his support for De Ruyter

The DA calls on the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, to ensure that Eskom’s CEO, Andrè de Ruyter is not unfairly and maliciously targeted as he cleans up corruption in the utility.

The witch-hunt against De Ruyter is now being intensified with fresh allegations of undue process in the appointment of three seniors at Eskom. This follows earlier allegations of racism which De Ruyter explicitly denied in an affidavit before Parliament.

According to reports three new appointments – all General Managers – were made on the instruction of De Ruyter without being advertised. Reports also indicate that the appointments were for new positions.

The DA is of the view that De Ruyter is being subjected to a witch hunt as a result of his efforts to clean up Eskom, which has seen years of unrestrained looting.

The DA notes the board of Eskom’s support for De Ruyter and we request that, together with Minister Gordhan, publicly assure the nation of their full support for his clean-up efforts.

It’s now high time for Minister Gordhan to step in so that De Ruyter is given space to focus on his job – which is to keep the lights on.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

RAF should use high court ruling to get its ducks in a row

The DA welcomes the High Court order that suspends all payments for settled claims not older than 180 days until 12 September 2021. The order also states that claims older than 180 days in which settlement have already been reached, must be paid.

This should allow the RAF some breathing room to get its ducks in a row and finalise historic payments, while putting the necessary measure in place to be able to pay out newer claims.

The Fund’s financial woes have mostly been of its own making as its approach since 2008 has not been to settle as required by the RAF Act, with the Fund trying to entice people into lodging their own claims rather than seeking representation from a legal professional. This is due to the RAF’s erroneous belief that their high legal cost is based on fair representation rather than the Fund’s own overlitigation.

Instead of litigating almost every claim that comes to the RAF, it should mandate its claim settlers to settle minor claims. At the moment, research shows that 90% of litigated claims are settled on the day of judgement.

Unless the RAF changes the way in which it operates, the current backlog will continue to increase, and it will edge ever closer to insolvency.

The DA also calls on the RAF to reinstitute a unit to investigate corruption and fraud since there has been no form of inspectorate since the shut-down of the RAF-Forensic Investigating Task Team (FITT) in 2017.

The RAF should take this reprieve from the High Court and do everything in its power to rectify the situation or history will simply repeat itself next year and the year after.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

NYDA selection process: Parliament dare not fail young South Africans  

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) application process closed recently. As this process restarts, the DA calls for a fair process that will prioritise all young South Africans and one that won’t favour political patronage and connections over talented young South Africans who want to build their country.

Last year’s selection process was riddled with controversy when a letter believed to be from the ANC Youth League task team, was forwarded with a list of preferred candidates. We hope that the culture of installing politically linked individuals has been wiped out, and that Parliament will stand firm as a vanguard to ensure that this process is transparent, fair, and based on merit.

The politicisation of the NYDA has to stop. With increasingly high unemployment amongst young people coupled with a lack of skills, they desperately need a NYDA that works. This is something we can no longer wait for but needs to be fought for.

The DA will fight vigorously during the shortlisting and interview process to stop cadre deployment in its tracks. Historically, the NYDA has been used as a graduate school for cadres and those who are politically connected.

The ANCYL has been the main beneficiary of cadre deployment in the NYDA. They have continued to benefit while the majority of young people remain left behind and unable to advance. The ANCYL owes young people an apology for the destruction of the NYDA for all these years.

As we head into this process, the DA will continue the fight to overhaul the NYDA of cadre deployment and political patronage. We wish all young people who have applied well as all efforts are required to help us fight youth unemployment amongst young South Africans.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.