DA submits PAIA application for legal advice Ramaphosa obtained prior to announcing National State of Disaster

Issued by Cilliers Brink MP – DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)
16 Feb 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Cilliers Brink MP.

The DA has submitted a PAIA application to obtain a record of decision encompassing all the documentation and legal advice that President Cyril Ramaphosa obtained before deciding to declare a national State of Disaster (SoD) “…to respond to the electricity crisis and its effects”.

There are credible concerns that Ramaphosa may have defied legal advice cautioning against the declaration of an national SoD for political reasons, to appease the ANC’s National Executive Committee.

To show that the ANC NEC’s call for an SoD was never about fixing the electricity crisis, a statement released after the conclusion of their lekgotla said: “In solving the energy crisis, the NEC Lekgotla encouraged the President of the Republic to declare a national State of Disaster, which will also require that the ANC reconnects with our communities and society.”

This confirms that the ANC wanted the SoD to be declared to further the party’s political programme on the eve of a national general election.

The DA’s PAIA application seeks to obtain:

  • Documentation on the “record of decision” detailing all the documents that were considered before the decision to declare a national State of Disaster was declared;
  • A record of the legal advice that was given to the President before the decision was taken to declare a national State of Disaster.

If the “record of decision” documents do confirm that Ramaphosa ignored legal advice given against the declaration of the SoD, this could potentially render his decision invalid.

As the DA, we still maintain our position that a national State of Disaster under the guise of dealing with the loadshedding crisis will open the door to widespread abuse of procurement processes and the issuance of nonsensical regulations that have nothing to do with loadshedding.

This is also precisely why we have written to the Supreme Court of Appeal to expedite our challenge to the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act.

The DA will not sit back and allow the ANC to abuse the electricity disaster it created to loot and further abuse the people of South Africa for political reasons.