South African opposition seeks review of Zuma cabinet shuffle

Posted May 06, 2017

However‚ Zuma's lawyers argued that the DA had already acknowledged this and‚ on that basis‚ was not entitled to any record of the decision.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled that Zuma must hand over the record of his decision to the DA within five working days.

Zuma allegedly relied on an intelligence report when he sacked former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas after recalling them from a road show with overseas investors.

The DA filed an urgent application with the court in Pretoria on April 24, to force Zuma to disclose his reasons for reshuffling his Cabinet on March 30.

The amateurish document held that Gordhan and Jonas were conspiring with worldwide financiers to topple Zuma, providing no evidence for the assertion.

It also triggered unprecedented criticism from within the ruling African National Congress top brass and its allies and spawned massive public protests for Zuma's ouster.

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The president defended his actions saying he was exercising his prerogative to hire and fire ministers in terms of section 91 (2) of the Constitution which also protects from giving reasons for his actions.

A legal review could potentially find Mr Zuma's reasoning for the reshuffle unlawful, which is what the DA wants.

"There is a another ratings agency that is going to make an announcement about whether to downgrade South Africa, and we are hoping that the court can play with us in reviewing the rationality as soon as possible", the party's James Selfe said outside the court.

"It is an abuse of court process", he said.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban on Thursday, Zuma said his recent cabinet reshuffle was aimed at giving younger members of parliament a chance to contribute their expertise to government.

"The appointment of ministers and deputies, as well as reshuffling of Cabinet, is a discretionary and political decision of the President of the Republic derived from the Constitution".