DA to launch contempt of court charges against ANC over cadre deployment records

23 February 2024 - 12:20
By Sisanda Mbolekwa
DA leader John Steenhuisen says the ANC has failed to comply with a recent ConCourt order that it submit full records of the meetings and decisions of its cadre deployment committee dating back from 2013 to 2021. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day DA leader John Steenhuisen says the ANC has failed to comply with a recent ConCourt order that it submit full records of the meetings and decisions of its cadre deployment committee dating back from 2013 to 2021. File photo.

The DA will launch a contempt of court application against the ANC after its failure to submit full and unredacted records of its cadre deployment documents.

The DA also announced it will appeal the North Gauteng High Court decision to dismiss its application to have the ANC's cadre deployment policy declared unlawful and unconstitutional.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the ANC has failed to comply with a recent ConCourt order that it must submit full records of the meetings and decisions of its cadre deployment committee from 2013 to 2021.

“The ANC failed to include [President Cyril] Ramaphosa’s own e-mails and WhatsApp messages in the material it handed over to the DA, despite that Ramaphosa was chair of this committee during this period and was one of the recipients of the e-mails and WhatsApp messages in question. 

“He ultimately bears responsibility for its operations but fails to depose to an affidavit confirming he has no documents or information for this period.”

The ANC has blamed its inability to make full disclosure of the records required on a computer that mysteriously crashed. 

The party contends the same employee whose computer crashed also mistakenly deleted some of the records when he tried to free space in his e-mail account.

On Thursday, the DA issued a letter of demand to the ANC for it to fully comply with the ConCourt's order with a deadline set for tomorrow, citing that should the party fail to do so, it will seek an urgent contempt of court ruling that includes prison time aimed specifically at its secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, who acted on behalf of the ruling party in the matter.

“We will use the precedent created in the [former president] Jacob Zuma case when he was sent to prison for similarly being in contempt of a ConCourt order. We will also pursue criminal charges against ANC officials involved in the destruction of information as part of a blatant cover-up campaign to try to wipe Ramaphosa’s fingerprints off the cadre deployment records.”

The opposition party revealed its legal letter to the ANC, which included the following details:

  • The ANC extensively redacted the documents despite not being entitled to do so by the court order.
  • The ruling party provided no information for the five years Ramaphosa was the cadre deployment committee chairperson. The ANC also failed to mention this in its court papers.
  • The party failed to provide a list of all decisions taken by the cadre deployment committee, as ordered by the court.
  • The ANC impermissibly restricted communication disseminated during the year 2020. It furnished illegible documents.
  • It destroyed documents while the matter was pending before the court;
  • The governing party failed to adequately explain the steps taken to locate the information, including all information from Ramaphosa as chairperson of the committee and thus recipient of any and all information and documents pertaining to it.
  • It failed to provide minutes that were not formally adopted, even though the court order obliges the party to hand over all relevant information.
  • The ANC also failed to provide any information for the period between 2013 and 2018, despite the court ordering it must include this period when Ramaphosa was chair.


The DA said it pointed out in its letter that the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request “is not limited to minutes of committee meetings but extends to all information on the processes and decisions of the committee during the period 2013-2021]”.

The DA slammed the proposition that the ANC has no documentary or digital trace at all of any communications on the committee's processes during this five-year period, saying the claim was not credible.

“It makes no mention of the steps it has taken to source documents or information from the members of the committee or recipients of cadre e-mails. 

“The failure to hand over the relevant information also flies in the face of Ramaphosa’s own testimony before the state capture inquiry when he said: 'I think those who are in charge will take notes and record a decision and it is then communicated.' The DA and the public are entitled to access these notes and decisions in terms of the court order.”

The DA will also lay criminal charges against ANC official Thapelo Masilela, who admitted in a worn statement that he “mistakenly” destroyed some records the DA sought under the PAIA.

According to the act, an individual found guilty of destroying or tampering with items sought in terms the legislation could be liable on conviction of a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.