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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Court rules in favour of ANC in cadre deployment policy case

The governing party has defended the policy, saying it only made recommendations on appointments.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of the ANC in its case against the Democratic Alliance (DA) over its cadre deployment policy.

The DA’s application was dismissed with costs.

The court ruling comes just a few days after the ANC suffered a blow when the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) upheld a previous court ruling, ordering the ruling party to give the DA its deployment committee records.

On Monday, the ANC complied with the court order to hand over the records.

ALSO READ: DA trying to ‘chop down cancer’ of ANC’s cadre deployment

In June 2022, the DA launched the court action to stop the governing party from implementing “their long-standing policy of cadre deployment corruption in government and wreak havoc with the public service.”

“This is, without any doubt, the single most important court case for rebuilding state capacity in South Africa’s democratic history,” said Leon Schreiber, DA shadow minister for Public Service and Administration at the time.

“Through the evil practice of cadre deployment, the ANC illegally interferes in appointment processes to ensure that corrupt cadres are appointed on the basis of their loyalty to the ANC, rather than on the basis of merit and skill. As the Zondo Commission confirmed and as the DA revealed when we exposed minutes of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee last year, this practice forms the very foundation of state capture. Abolishing cadre deployment is therefore a fundamental prerequisite if we ever want to end load shedding and halt the collapse of state institutions.”

ALSO READ: ANC’s cadre deployment policy needs to go

President Cyril Ramaphosa previously defended the cadre deployment policy at the state capture commission, saying it only made recommendations on people to appoint in the state.

Ramaphosa, however, acknowledged implementation of the ANC deployment policy was not perfect, adding that its recommendations were not always followed by officials in government.

“We would concede there are weaknesses in its practical implementation that make the case for greater clarity, both in political parties and the state. Ultimately, political involvement in the administration of the public service must be circumscribed by legislation, convention and practice.

“We should do so to protect both political and administrative positions and to create certainty as to the division between political and administrative responsibility,” he said at the time.

Cadre deployment policy ‘good’

Appearing before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to answer questions for oral reply last year, Deputy President Paul Mashatile defended the policy and said it was “incorrect” to link cadre deployment with service delivery challenges faced by the country’s municipalities.

“Nobody is deployed in government unless they go through a rigorous process,” said Mashatile.

ALSO READ: ANC favoured loyalty over competence – now cadre deployment has come back to bite it

“If the government advertises a DG post, and ANC feels a comrade is best for that position, we recommend to him to apply like everybody else, so the process is transparent. The comrade will be interviewed like anybody else, and he won’t be appointed if he fails.

“Some people may have come, and the ANC likes them but failed to get through. We don’t just say ‘You’re an ANC member; please go and be a DG’. We want your qualifications and check them. There is a process of vetting that takes place.

“Don’t be worried about cadre development policy; it’s a very good policy because it ensures that you prepare your people for this tough process; you train them. A lot of people are being trained in the ANC; we even have a school, the OR Tambo Leadership Academy. We train people all the time because we want the best of the best to go and do the job.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s a very good policy’ – Mashatile defends ANC’s cadre deployment policy

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