Thuli Madonsela: State capture roots are 'not cadre deployment but hijack'

20 January 2022 - 11:09
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times Former public protector Thuli Madonsela. File photo.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has weighed in on the ANC's cadre deployment policy, saying it is not the cause of all bad outcomes in SA. 

Madonsela made the remark during a public discussion on the DA's online show The Inside Track on Wednesday. 

She disagreed with the DA's campaign pinning state capture on the cadre deployment policy.

“Some of your colleagues have referred to cadre deployment as a major problem. My preliminary conclusion as a public protector was that what we had seen was not cadre deployment but hijack,” she said.

“If you look at China as a country, they have cadre deployment. What does that mean? It means they deploy the best in their party, people who have been trained in statecraft, the best of them. That’s why China has become a global giant, it’s because of cadre deployment.”

Madonsela said she is not for or against cadre deployment.

“What I’m saying is that state capture was about the family of [former] president Zuma having gone into business with the Gupta family, and the power given to Zuma by the people of SA being hijacked and repurposed to advance the business interest of these two families,” said Madonsela. 

This week, DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille sparked debate with comments comparing the apartheid government and the ANC.

Weighing in on the role of the Broederbond during apartheid and a claim the ANC’s policies are similar to those of the National Party (NP), Zille said there were differences.

“There is one interesting difference. The old NP ‘cadre deployment’ usually managed to build strong state-owned entities, a capable state, and led to significant industrialisation and economic growth. Quite the opposite under the ANC,” she said.

Zille’s statement drew mixed reactions, with some saying the DA has its own cadre deployment policy.

She later said: “All cadre deployment is wrong. In extreme cases, it results in a collapsed state, such as we have now.”