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DA Escalates Efforts to Counter ANC Cadre Deployment and Seeks Legal Recourse

Published February 28, 2024
4 months ago

In a resolute push to curtail what they identify as pervasive political corruption, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in South Africa has strategized extensive measures to confront the African National Congress (ANC)'s practice of cadre deployment. On the front lines, a billboard has been put up on the N12/N3 highway in Johannesburg, boldly proclaiming "Crush corruption! Outlaw cadre deployment," as part of their crusade to eliminate what they argue is a system sustaining the entrenchment of the ANC's political influence across various levels of government.

The party's campaign has further taken a sharp legal turn as they target not only the national, but also the provincial and regional deployment committees of the ANC. Fueled by what they have gathered from national cadre deployment records obtained under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), the DA affirms that this network is much more extensive than previously disclosed. According to DA MP Leon Schreiber, the existence of nine provincial and numerous regional committees, functioning alongside the national structure typically chaired by the deputy president, is confirmed by the minutes they have analyzed.

Documents leaked from the regional deployment committees paint a clear picture of the ANC’s localized influence and nominations to key service positions such as in the water services sector in certain municipalities, indicating a level of interference with provincial government prerogatives.

A contempt of court challenge is set to flare up the situation further as the DA seeks jail time for ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. The DA's argument hinges on the premise that the ANC has failed to comply with a Constitutional Court order by releasing heavily redacted records and excluding documents prior to 2018—non-disclosures that the DA interprets as a deliberate cover-up, especially shielding President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the cadre deployment committee from 2013 to 2018.

The ANC has responded to the missing records claim by asserting that no minutes were kept during Ramaphosa's tenure and that data was lost due to a crashed laptop in 2021. The DA, however, contests these justifications, pointing to the improbability of a complete lack of copies among committee members and questioning the timing and transparency related to the laptop incident.

The DA's legal action against Mbalula is intensifying, as Schreiber makes clear they are not only pursuing compliance with the court order but assigning personal accountability that could result in Mbalula's imprisonment. The upcoming legal context paints a scenario where the DA is leveraging court processes not just for information, but for tangible penalties against the ANC’s personnel.

As this political saga unfolds, South Africans await the effectiveness of these legal maneuvers and what they could spell for the future of political patronage systems in the country.

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