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DA Ramps Up Campaign Against ANC's Cadre Deployment with Legal Challenges and Publicity

Published February 29, 2024
3 months ago

South Africa's official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has unveiled a multi-pronged strategy to intensify its ongoing battle against the African National Congress's (ANC) alleged practice of cadre deployment. The DA announced on Tuesday a series of steps to highlight the issue and hold the ANC accountable, including a striking billboard campaign, a contempt of court challenge, and efforts to shed light on the ANC’s deployment activities at regional and provincial levels.

The billboard, prominently placed on the N12/N3 highway in Johannesburg, reads "Crush corruption! Outlaw cadre deployment," calling for the end of politically motivated appointments within government entities. This public display aims to increase awareness among South Africans about the alleged corrupt practices that the DA claims undermine the public sector's integrity and efficiency.

In a notable escalation of legal tactics, the DA is set to launch a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request to obtain records from the ANC’s lesser-known provincial and regional deployment committees. The move follows the precedent set by successfully procuring documents from the ANC's national cadre deployment records. DA MP Leon Schreiber expressed that revealing the existence of these decentralized structures amplifies the issues surrounding the party's transparency and accountability in staffing government positions.

Leaked documents, including minutes from committee meetings in the North West province, allegedly show how ANC leaders deliberate the appointment of specific individuals to key positions, such as heads of water services. The DA contends that this practice extends beyond the national level and permeates local governance structures. The implication is that personnel decisions may be swayed by political influence rather than merit-based criteria, a perception the DA deems harmful to governance and service delivery.

Moreover, the DA has outlined plans for a legal challenge against ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula for contempt of court. The party argues that the ANC has not fully complied with a Constitutional Court order, alleging that records were excessively redacted and incomplete, with gaps in documentation dating from 2013 to 2021. The ANC's explanation that no minutes were taken during President Cyril Ramaphosa's tenure as committee chair, and that related records were lost due to a laptop crash in 2021, has been met with skepticism by the DA.

With these actions, the DA asserts that the ANC is actively trying to obscure Ramaphosa's involvement and avoid transparency regarding the cadre deployment process. By drawing attention to the alleged withholding of information from the court, the DA is also raising questions about the ANC's respect for the judiciary.

The DA is requesting the courts to hold Mbalula personally accountable, seeking a jail sentence for his role in the ANC's response to the court's demands. If successful, it could set a precedent for individual liability in cases of government non-compliance with judicial orders.

These steps represent a significant amplification of the DA's efforts to challenge what they consider a corrupt practice that has long plagued South African politics. Whether the DA’s campaign will result in legal success or a shifting of public opinion remains to be seen, but the party appears determined to keep the issue at the forefront of national discourse.

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