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Zuma explains role of ANC deployment committee

During her testimony at the Zondo commission last year, Hogan claimed that certain structures of the ANC saw themselves as having powers to make appointments in state-owned enterprises during Zuma’s tenure.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission of inquiry on Tuesday 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday told the Zondo commission the African National Congress (ANC) had a deployment committee to appoint certain individuals at state-owned entities (SOEs).

Zuma was responding to former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan’s claim of deployments at SOEs.

During her testimony at the Zondo commission last year, Hogan claimed that certain structures of the ANC saw themselves as having powers to make appointments in state-owned enterprises during Zuma’s tenure.

* Live blog: ANC has interest in deploying individuals to government posts, says Zuma

Hogan claimed that Zuma insisted on installing not only executives with questionable backgrounds in state-owned companies but also on its boards.

Zuma said there was a deployment committee in the ANC because it was the ruling party.

The former president said ministers used this committee for recommendations for deployments.

“It helped the government make candidates available and also to look at specific people.”

Zuma said the deployment committee did not necessarily appoint, but only made recommendations.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked if this committee, which was established in 1994 to help with appointments in the public sector, had a list of people with their qualifications and experiences or if the committee recommended people that they knew.

Zuma responded and said: “They don’t necessarily keep a list. I think it happens that the ANC knows its people and it knows some of their capacity and with some, it may not know. So, when that situation arises, they would then look at those on the list to see what type of person is wanted to assist the process.”

He also said at the time, appointment processes did not go through the deployment committee.

When asked by evidence leader Paul Pretorius who sat on this committee, Zuma said there were people who were appointed.

“Ever since it existed, the person who would be chairing would be the deputy president. Why the deputy president? Because the deputy president would be the deputy president of both the party and government. He would also understand what is needed in government.”

He also said some ministers “of a particular type” would also be appointed as members of the deployment committee.

These members were appointed by the ANC’s national executive committee, Zuma added.

When asked by evidence leader Paul Pretorius if the deployment committee involved itself with the appointment of board members of SOEs and government departments, Zuma said at times, it did.

"At times, they might recommend if they know some people who have experience."

WATCH LIVE: Day 3: Part 1 - Former President Jacob Zuma at the commission into state capture

Hogan claimed that when she was minister, the ANC’s deployment committee got involved.

She said that the ANC often interfered and cited an example where the national working committee tried to instruct her to appoint certain people at SOEs.

“That is an abuse of power and that is usurping executive authority. Why have a minister if you’re going to instruct that minister about what happens? I feel the same way very strongly about Parliament.”

Hogan warned that government would always be impacted negatively if the ANC’s deployment committee was captured by forces.

ZUMA DEFENDS ANC DEPLOYMENT COMMITTEE

Zuma said loyalty to the ANC was one of the factors considered when individuals are appointed to government and state-owned institutions.

Hogan testified at the Zondo commission that the ANC’s deployment committee was often biased and put pressure on her to appoint certain individuals.

But Zuma disputed this, saying it was a known fact in ANC circles that those deployed to government institutions must be associated with the organisation.

Zuma said loyalty was not the only thing the party considered.

The former state president also defended the party’s deployment committee, saying it was always intended to help government and not impose appointments on state institutions.

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