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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

DA wants Mbalula jailed for contempt of court over cadre deployment

Despite the SCA court ruling, the ANC has been defiant in handing over the deployment records.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has launched an application to send ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula to prison for contempt of court.

This comes after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) this month dismissed an attempt by Mbalula to appeal an earlier ruling from the Johannesburg High Court that the ANC must hand over its cadre deployment records to the DA.

The SCA ruling reinstated the deadline imposed by the High Court, which gave the ANC five working days to hand over all cadre deployment records dating back to 1 January 2013 – when President Cyril Ramaphosa became chairman of the deployment committee.

DA MP Leon Schreiber in 2021 brought an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to obtain the ANC cadre deployment records.

However, the ANC refused, and Schreiber headed to court.

ANC defiant

The SCA found that there was “no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal” and there was “no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard”.

Schreiber said despite the SCA court ruling the ANC has been defiant in handing over the records.

“In response to the ANC’s defiance of this court ruling, the DA is approaching the court for an order of contempt and will seek the committal to prison of ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. Since the ANC’s doomed appeal at the SCA was filed under Mbalula’s name, he has made himself guilty of the same contempt of court offence that led to the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma.”

Schreiber referred to the matter where Zuma refused to comply with a Constitutional Court order to appear before the Zondo Commission. The former president was subsequently sentenced to 15 months jail time, but was unlawfully released after hardly two months.

ALSO READ: ANC ordered to pay costs as party loses bid to keep cadre deployment records secret

Court application

Schreiber said the DA will launch a court application to “send Mbalula to prison using the very precedent established in the Zuma case.”

“It is time the ANC learns that there are consequences for undermining justice in South Africa. The deadline for handing over the cadre deployment records to the DA was 8 September.”

Schreiber added that the DA received a letter from the ANC’s lawyers, indicating that the party intended heading to the Constitutional Court to appeal.

“The DA subsequently wrote to the ANC’s lawyers, giving them until 12:00 on 20 September to file their papers if the party intended to proceed with the appeal. The ANC failed to meet this deadline.

“Yesterday, the DA again wrote to the ANC’s lawyers, indicating that the 15-day court deadline for filing an appeal lapsed the day before, on 26 September. This means that the ANC is now in contempt of the SCA ruling,” Schreiber said.

ANC cadre deployment

Earlier this year, the ANC defended its deployment policy, arguing that all political parties had the right to make suggestions on who should be appointed to key positions in the public service.

The ANC deployment committee’s minutes, from 2018 to 2021, revealed how the party ran a parallel process to fill certain positions at several government departments, agencies and the boards of SOEs.

ALSO READ: LISTEN: DA and ANC to face off over cadre deployment

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