The WhatsApp group that rules South Africa

Records of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee handed over to the DA last week revealed how appointments to key state institutions were steered over a WhatsApp group.

Among the appointments discussed in the group include the Auditor-General South Africa, the Hawks, the Information Regulator, and deputy-general positions in the Department of Justice and Department of Communications.

The group also discussed Prasa, the Central Energy Fund, the National Lotteries Commission, the South African Maritime Safety Authority, the National Port Regulator, the Development Bank of South Africa, and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).

Senior members of the ANC were in the group, including at least one member of its National Executive Committee — the highest organ of the political party.

“Cde [redacted] I see you are trying to get a response from me. I am currently in the NEC, I must still try and move meetings tomorrow. I will come back immediately to you,” one of the messages stated.

The ANC redacted most of the names from the documents before handing them over to the DA.

It said this was done to protect the personal information of those who did not consent to their data being disclosed.

Additionally, many of the screenshots contained in the documents are illegible.

Advertisements for government positions would be posted on the group, after which members could nominate their preferred candidates.

Such nominations often included praise for the preferred candidate’s loyalty to the ANC.

“Please add the name of [redacted]. She has applied for the board. An activist of the ANCWL and ANC and YWD. That will be our submission,” one message stated in response to a list of ten candidates for the board of the MDDA.

Members would also express their discontent when people they didn’t approve of were appointed to boards.

“What happened with the PRASA Board?” an unnamed participant stated.

“We had submitted a name through the ANC data as well another person applied direct to the department. The decision of the Deployment Committee was that [redacted] were to talk to us, and he never did only to know the pronouncement through [redacted] , what happened? I called but he is not answering his phone.”

Despite the group facilitating senior government appointments, it often contained flippant comments.

Some of these were related to the chaotic way in which meetings were arranged.

“What time are you cancelling the deployment committee meeting?” one person joked.

“Hahaha please respect us. It will go ahead,” another person, clearly in on the joke, responded.

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The WhatsApp group that rules South Africa