Reshuffle Chronicles: Zuma must provide reasons behind Cabinet reshuffle, judge rules

Posted May 06, 2017

The High Court in Pretoria has ordered Zuma to hand over to the Democratic Alliance (DA) within five working days the record of decisions related to his recent Cabinet reshuffle, which includes correspondence, contracts, memoranda, advice and recommendations. "The timing of the announcement of the reshuffle, in the middle of the night, also serves to highlight the real motives and intent by the President Zuma".

When asked whether he would return to the post once more, if the High Court in Pretoria found that Zuma's decision was irrational, Gordhan said no.

The DA said it wanted the court to review and set aside Zuma's decision to dismiss Gordhan and Jonas.

Kodwa added the "Constitution confers upon the President powers to constitute his Cabinet without imposing an obligation upon him to consult opposition parties in the exercise of this discretionary function".

Zuma, who came to power in 2009, has been accused of corruption but survived several no-confidence votes in parliament thanks to his African National Congress (ANC) majority in the National Assembly.

On Friday, Kodwa said that reading into the Constitution that the President must explain his Cabinet decisions was "to use the judiciary to police political decisions and sets a very worrisome precedent".

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President Jacob Zuma said in Durban on Thursday that he had reshuffled his Cabinet recently to make room for young people in government.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, and party officials Jackson Mthembu and Zweli Mkhize, have said publicly that the president had referred to an intelligence report that implicated Mr Gordhan in a regime change plot as the basis for his decision.

The reshuffle caused the rand currency to plummet and the country's sovereign credit rating was downgraded to "junk status" by global agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

It was not immediately clear if Zuma would appeal Thursday's ruling.

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