Cadre deployment: ANC says it will comply with ConCourt ruling

19 February 2024 - 13:09
By Andisiwe Makinana
ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri. File photo.

The ANC has committed to hand over records of its national deployment committee by the end of business on Monday.

The party is calling on the DA to handle the information with care, taking into account the provision of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) which guarantees the protection of personal information of individuals.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri rejected what she called “fevered speculation driven by the DA” regarding the governing party’s cadre development policy and deployment strategy.

She said the ANC was in a position to comply with the order of the Constitutional Court after its ruling last Monday “and will do so by the end of business today”.

Bhengu-Motsiri said a number of the records for the period 2018–2021 were handed over to the Zondo commission as far back as 2021, and were the subject of thorough scrutiny by the commission, including in testimony by President Cyril Ramaphosa and other senior leaders of the party.

“The ANC has nothing to hide,” said Bhengu-Motsiri.

She added that the party had indicated to the commission as far back as June 2021 that it searched for the committee’s minutes for the period December 2012 to December 2017 and no minutes of the meetings for that period could be found.

Bhengu-Motsiri said DA MP Leon Schreiber, who made the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application for the information from the ANC, and his party were aware of this, but chose “to engage in deliberate misrepresentation, threats and false expectations of what might be contained in the records.

“In his testimony to the Zondo commission, President Cyril Ramaphosa committed that the ANC would do everything in its power to find the records. The ANC has done so and will hand over all records that have been found, and give an explanation regarding those records which either do not exist or have not been able to be found.”

Bhengu-Motsiri said the ANC rejects the DA’s threats to lay charges of contempt of court against its leadership. She said the party has followed all requirements of the Promotion of Access to Information Act in complying with the court order.

“Furthermore, precautions have been taken to comply with the provisions of POPIA to protect the personal information of those who have not given consent for its release.

“The ANC calls upon Dr Schreiber to respect the rights of these individuals and to use the records handed to him for the purpose outlined in his PAIA application.

“It would be regrettable if Dr Schreiber misuses the noble provisions of our constitution which guarantees citizens the right of access to information for narrow party-political advantage.”

The ANC has argued that cadre deployment is not unique to the party or this country and that its cadre development policy and deployment strategy were designed to advance the constitutional goal of transformation. Similar policies are implemented in a number of countries by different parties.

It said the DA and all South African political parties engage in deployment practices for identifying skilled and appropriately experienced professionals to serve on parliamentary committees, boards and senior administrative positions.

“While it acknowledges that some past deployments have been problematic, the ANC affirms that over the years it has deployed individuals with impressive qualifications and credentials and is proud of its cadres who have achieved great outcomes for South Africa, and those who are shoulder-to-the-wheel, driving transformation and societal renewal in challenging socioeconomic circumstances,” said Bhengu-Motsiri.

The DA announced at the weekend it had turned down a request by the ANC to be granted an extension to Monday’s deadline to comply with the ConCourt judgment. The ANC denied making such a request.