Today, the Democratic Alliance has taken historic and unprecedented legal action against the ANC itself, to have their long-standing policy of cadre deployment declared unconstitutional and illegal.
Today I have filed our court papers at the North Gauteng High Court, joined by DA Gauteng Provincial Leader Solly Msimanga, DA Shadow Minister of Public Services and Administration, Leon Schreiber, and DA National Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube.
Specifically, the relief we are calling for is:
- that the ANC’s cadre deployment policy is declared inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid;
- that the ANC’s cadre deployment committee itself is declared inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore unlawful; and
- that the ANC’s cadre deployment policy is declared inconsistent with Chapter IV sections 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Public Service Act. Alternatively, that the Chapter IV of the Public Service Act itself is declared inconsistent with the Constitution because of the way in which it has failed to prevent the ANC from practicing cadre deployment.
Our legal papers document the evidence about how the ANC has used cadre deployment to capture the state, extract public resources, and evade accountability. The evidence relies heavily on:
- the cadre deployment minutes from 2018 onwards that were made public last year following intense pressure from the DA;
- the testimony given by a wide range of people in front of Judge Zondo at the State Capture Commission; and
- on the ANC’s own policy document setting out what cadre deployment is and how it is used to capture the state.
This legal action is historic and unprecedented because it is the first time ever that the ANC’s own policies are being challenged in court. The DA is at war with the ANC itself and with the way it operates as a criminal syndicate. We have long recognised that the policy of cadre deployment has been the essential mechanism enabling the racketeering operation that is the ANC’s patronage network.
Deployment of successive ANC cadres such as Brian Molefe to the board and CEO and CFO positions at Eskom is the root cause of its precipitous fall from one of the world’s top utility companies in the early 2000s to the bankrupt and broken institution it is today.
Cadre deployment is also the root cause of widespread municipal collapse (except in the DA-run Western Cape) as reported by Ratings Afrika last week. And the root cause of state capture and the grand corruption it enabled that saw R1.5 trillion stolen from the public purse.
By attacking the policy of cadre deployment, the DA is ripping out the heart of the ANC’s National Democratic Revolution, its socialist doctrine which says that the ANC must control the state and the state must control the economy.
But cadre deployment is not only ideologically motivated. Cadre deployment is also the mechanism through which the party dispenses patronage in the form of high-paying jobs to cadres who then in turn channel funds and votes to the ANC.
Cadre deployment has harmed our society immensely, especially the poor.
This court action is war on the ANC. The DA is prepared to go all the way, because this is the line in the sand between South Africa being saved or destroyed.
We fight this war on behalf of ordinary South Africans who have borne the brunt of this policy for many years, in the form of load-shedding, exorbitant fuel and electricity prices, bad service delivery, a stagnant economy, high unemployment, collapsing infrastructure, and endemic corruption at all levels of government. It is, at heart, a war on poverty.
Building a capable state
On Wednesday, the DA presented our End Cadre Deployment Bill to Parliament’s portfolio committee on public service and administration. It is designed to enforce merit-based appointments throughout the public service while making it illegal for politicians to work in the public administration.
Only by replacing cadre deployment with professional, merit-based appointments will we be able to replace South Africa’s failing, politically-captured state institutions with capable, independent, professional institutions able to deliver quality services to all. It is a war well worth fighting and one we must win.