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‘Cadre deployment destroyed our infrastructure’

The DA’s stated fight to end corruption moved up a notch when it tabled a bill to end the ANC’s cadre deployment policy and also filed court papers to challenge the ANC in that regard.

On Wednesday, the DA tabled the End the Cadre Deployment Policy Bill to Parliament’s portfolio committee on public service and administration.

The bill, formally titled the Public Administration Laws General Amendment Bill, is designed to enforce merit-based appointments throughout the public service, while making it illegal for politicians to work in public administration.

The tabling of the bill was followed by the filing of court papers on Friday at the Pretoria High Court, challenging the ANC’s cadre deployment policy.

The DA argued that the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture had been the result of the ANC deployment policy, which enabled external forces to loot state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Drawing on the testimonies of various witnesses at the inquiry, DA leader John Steenhuisen – in his founding affidavit – blamed the collapse of SOEs on this deployment policy.

Steenhuisen wanted the court to declare the ANC’s cadre deployment policy unconstitutional and illegal.

Steenhuisen said:[I request] that the ANC’s cadre deployment policy be declared inconsistent with chapter IV, sections 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Public Service Act. Alternatively, that chapter IV of the Public Service Act itself be declared inconsistent with the Constitution because of the way in which it has failed to prevent the ANC from practising cadre deployment.

The findings of the Zondo commission, he said, demonstrated that the policy of cadre deployment had eroded the functioning of institutions such as SAA, Transnet, Eskom and other SOEs.

The deployment policy had allowed external influences, such as the Gupta family, to control key state institutions for their own benefit and for that of certain ANC members.

He gave several examples of controversial, high-profile individuals who were deployed in various SOEs, but failed to drive those institutions. One such individual was Siyabonga Gama, whose deployment at Transnet allegedly enabled the Gupta family to assert its influence over it, ensuring that the entity served the family’s own interests, rather than those of the state.

“Gama is alleged to have received kickbacks from the Gupta family and made dubious donations as CEO of Transnet to the Jacob Zuma Foundation to the value of R500 000,” stated Steenhuisen.

“Today, Transnet is dysfunctional, to say the least. It has awarded irregular contracts to the value of R41.2 billion. The erosion and capture of Transnet are due to the deployment of certain individuals who were loyal to the ANC and former president Jacob Zuma, such as Siyabonga Gama and others.”

He also cited the deployment of Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh as CEO and chief financial officer of Eskom, respectively, quoting former minister of public enterprises Lynne Brown’s testimony that she had not acted alone, but with the approval of the ANC deployment committee and Cabinet.

Steenhuisen attributed the erosion of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) to the cadre deployment of Lucky Montana.

“Montana is considered to be responsible for having allowed Prasa to fall prey to state capture by channelling lucrative contracts through corrupt contractors to the ANC and losing billions of rands in irregular expenditures,” he stated.

Steenhuisen described the condition in which Montana’s tenure at Prasa had left the entity today.

Steenhuisen added that:Passenger rail services are dangerous, unreliable and dilapidated – when they run at all. Facilities and infrastructure are plagued by vandalism and neglect. Ultimately, it is ordinary South Africans who suffer in consequence.

He said that the state capture of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) had also been the result of the Zuma administration’s deployment of Tom Moyane there as its commissioner.

“Volume 1 of the state capture report deals with how Sars was decapacitated and its institutional integrity eroded at the hands of Moyane, Zuma and consultancy firm Bain & Company. Moyane also testified that he was aware that Zuma had earmarked him as commissioner of Sars before his appointment,” stated Steenhuisen.

Other examples included SAA under Dudu Myeni, Denel, and the SABC under Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The commission noted that these entities had disintegrated because the ANC’s deployment committee had “approved the CEO and boards of directors to the entities”.

“There can be no doubt, therefore, that the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment has resulted in large-scale corruption and the erosion of important state institutions, with the result that many of these entities have become dysfunctional”, stated Steenhuisen.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print.

-City Press



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