DA condemns Ramaphosa’s refusal to act on Zondo finding that cadre deployment is unconstitutional

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration
24 Oct 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The DA condemns in the harshest terms President Cyril Ramaphosa’s failure to uphold the finding by the State Capture Commission that ANC cadre deployment is unconstitutional and illegal, as well as his rejection of the Commission’s recommendation for the establishment of a permanent and independent Standing Appointment and Oversight Committee to vet suitable candidates for appointment to state-owned enterprises.

If Ramaphosa was at all serious about ending state capture, he would have told the nation last night that the corrupt practice of cadre deployment will come to an end “with immediate effect.” A President who cared more about South Africa than about his disgraced political party would have abolished this practice because, as the Commission itself confirmed, “state capture has been facilitated by the appointment of pliant individuals to powerful positions in state entities.”

Instead, in both his address to the nation and in the embarrassingly waver-thin document he submitted to Parliament, Ramaphosa failed to even mention the fact that the Commission had confirmed the DA’s long-held position that “it is unlawful and unconstitutional for a President of this country and any Minister, Deputy Minister or Director-General or other government official, including those in parastatals, to take into account recommendations of the ANC Deployment Committee.”

The only logical conclusion is that, by protecting the ANC cadre deployment committee which he chaired during the Zuma presidency, Ramaphosa has deliberately chosen to ignore one of the single most important findings emanating from the Commission’s four years of work, which cost taxpayers over R1 billion, in order to protect his political party’s patronage network.

In his report to Parliament, Ramaphosa admitted that “A key mechanism of state capture was the strategic positioning of individuals in positions of power through the abuse of public sector appointment and dismissal processes.” Despite therefore being aware that appointment processes were corrupted by his party’s evil practice of cadre deployment, the President chose to turn a blind eye – just like he did for all those years while he was Jacob Zuma’s deputy.

By failing to act against cadre deployment, Cyril Ramaphosa is fatally undermining the State Capture Commission’s recommendations on fixing appointment processes. The Commission recommended the creation of an independent new Standing Appointment and Oversight Committee to ensure that any person nominated to a SOE board meets the “professional, reputational and eligibility requirements for such a position.” Although it is carefully worded, Ramaphosa effectively rejects this recommendation in his report to Parliament.

Whereas the Commission recommended a permanent and independent Committee to vet all appointments and investigate misconduct by SOE board members, Ramaphosa only plans to create a far weaker “guide” for independent panels to “play a role in nominating suitable candidates to the relevant minister.” This clearly suggests that, beyond window dressing, Cyril Ramaphosa has no intention of weakening the grip his fellow ANC cadres hold over appointment decisions.

Most fundamentally, even if the Zondo Commission’s recommendation for a Standing Appointment and Oversight Committee were implemented, the continued existence of ANC cadre deployment would undermine its very purpose. For as long as the ANC continues to wield the unconstitutional and illegal power to instruct ministers and other officials to appoint loyal ANC cadres to positions of power, state capture will continue unabated.

Cyril Ramphosa sent an unambiguous message to the people of South Africa last night. His failure to take serious action against state capture means that he is either too compromised to uproot cadre deployment and end state capture, or simply too cowardly. That is why the DA will now do it for him.

On 23 and 24 January 2023, the DA will see Ramaphosa in court to abolish his beloved system of cadre deployment corruption.