Johannesburg – As leader of the ANC, President Cyril Ramaphosa will return for a second day in the state’s capture inquiry on Thursday after a day of testimony that shed light on the ANC’s rollout strategy.
Ramaphosa’s long-awaited appearance at the Zondo Commission took place on Wednesday. It was the first of several appearances that are expected of him, which will cover the positions as leader of the ANC, his management as vice president and his role as president of the country.
Ramaphosa told the inquiry that there were cases where critical appointments were made to the government, during the administration of President Jacob Zuma, that did not go through the ANC’s implementation committee.
He was chairman of the ANC’s rollout committee as vice president of the party from 2013 to 2017. He explained that the committee makes recommendations for nominations to the government, but the final decision is up to the government.
“There were times (when) the committee was ignored,” said Ramaphosa, referring to Zuma’s appointments.
He told the inquiry that when this happened, he approached Zuma about the matter.
“It happened when I was the president that some developments were finalized without reference to the committee. On those occasions, I would go to the president (Zuma) and say that you deceived me, ”he said.
The commission also heard an example of when Ramaphosa also bypassed the deployment committee by making critical appointments in the government.
“Upon finalizing certain appointments, I ignored the committee and went to Vice President Mabuza and said that I finalized these appointments without consideration and said that I would like to apologize. I said that I am even prepared to come to the committee and explain myself, and I did, “explained Ramaphosa.
Earlier in the day, Ramaphosa was asked about the consequences of the ANC’s implementation strategy.
The party has been criticized for the quality of the nominations, in which some of the nominees lacked skills and qualifications.
Lawyer Paul Pretorius, the evidence leader, read an excerpt from a comment that criticized the ANC’s implementation strategy as being hampered by careerism and partisanship.
Ramaphosa admitted that this was true in certain circumstances and attributed this to the ANC as a “living” organization that has been affected by divisions.
“It is true, we had to deal with these issues, careerism opportunism and partisanship. And some of these deployments have caused turmoil at the ANC because we are a living organization. In the end, we have to manage all of that.
“Factionalism arises because the members of the organization would have different perspectives and interests.”
In a comment by former minister and ANC member Barbara Hogan that the party no longer needed an implantation system, Ramaphosa disagreed, saying it was needed now more than ever.
The president said that “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” was not a solution and that the committee could still make major contributions to the ANC. He said he should recommend people who are in good shape, who know their craft and are not caught.
Ramaphosa said the ideal is for the deployment committee to act as a filter to ensure that people who are not fit for the job are not nominated for public office.
In defense of the committee, Ramaphosa said the committee was diverse with people with extensive knowledge of work and other critical areas.
“We need to ensure that the state capture does not happen again, we need to be vigilant to ensure that it is not carried out,” said Ramaphosa.