DA readying to file contempt of court action against ANC

23rd February 2024 By: Thabi Shomolekae - Creamer Media Senior Writer

DA readying to file contempt of court action against ANC

DA leader John Steenhuisen

The Democratic Alliance (DA) announced on Friday that it will be launching a contempt of court application against the African National Congress (ANC) to obtain copies of the emails and WhatsApps relevant to the period when President Cyril Ramaphosa served as chairperson of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee, between 2013 and 2018.

The party announced additional and follow-up action it will be taking as part of its ongoing campaign against ANC cadre deployment corruption.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party would also be filing its application for leave to appeal the North Gauteng High Court judgment handed down on Tuesday, which dismissed with costs the DA’s application to have the ANC’s cadre deployment policy declared unconstitutional.

This after the DA’s victory in the Constitutional Court in a protracted case in which it wanted the ANC to produce its minutes on cadre deployments dating back to 2013.

The ANC released its records on Monday following the Constitutional Court judgment, but Steenhuisen said it failed to include Ramaphosa’s own emails and WhatsApps in the material it handed over to the DA.

“…despite the fact that Ramaphosa was chairman of this committee during this period and was one of the recipients of the emails 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,” he said.

On Thursday, the DA issued a letter of demand to the ANC for it to fully comply with the Constitutional Court’s order with a Saturday deadline.

Steenhuisen said if the ANC does not adhere to the demand, the DA will seek an urgent contempt of court ruling that includes prison time aimed specifically at ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, who Steenhuisen said acted on behalf of the ANC in this matter.


The DA is of the view that the ANC failed to comply with the court order as it had extensively redacted the documents despite not being entitled to do so by the court order.

The DA said the ANC also failed to provide a list of all decisions taken by the cadre deployment committee, as ordered by the court and “impermissibly” restricted communication disseminated during the year 2020.

Steenhuisen alleged that the ANC furnished illegible documents and had destroyed documents while the matter was pending before the court and also claimed that it had failed to adequately explain the steps taken to locate the information, including all information from Ramaphosa as chairperson of the committee.

He said the ruling party also failed to provide minutes that were not formally adopted, even though the court order obliges the party to hand over all relevant information.

“We will use the precedent created in the Jacob Zuma case, when he was sent to prison for similarly being in contempt of a Constitutional Court order. Finally, we will pursue criminal charges against ANC officials involved in the destruction of information as part of a blatant coverup campaign to try and wipe Ramaphosa’s fingerprints off of the cadre deployment records,” he explained.

Steenhuisen said that it was not credible for the ANC to claim that there existed no documentary or digital trace at all of any communications on the committee’s processes during this five-year period.

“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 emails,” he added.

Finally, the criminal charges the DA will lay against the ANC stem from the admission, made under oath by ANC official Thapelo Masilela, that he destroyed a number of the records that were the subject of the Promotion of Access to Information Act request after the Court order had been granted, while the ANC’s applications for leave to appeal were still pending.

Meanwhile, Mbalula had onThursday called on the DA to make their own deployment records public. However, Steenhuisen highlighted that there were no minutes to submit because the DA has never practised cadre deployment.

“If the ANC is so convinced in their myth that the DA is practicing cadre deployment well, why don’t they get behind the legislation and lets end the practice once and for all. It won’t matter who is in power after the election. Let’s have a professional civil service, it is going to deliver for people and for their needs and wants and not the needs and wants of politicians,” he said.

He said the ANC must support the DA’s Bill or table their own Bill to end cadre deployment.