Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

South African court orders Zuma to explain reason for cabinet reshuffle

South African court orders Zuma to explain reason for cabinet reshuffle

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

Critics have stated that the fired ministers were replaced by perceived Zuma allies.

The ruling made on Thursday by Judge Bashir Vally follows an application by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on April 24 asking the court to force President Zuma to disclose his reasons for the Cabinet reshuffle.

The party has also called for a no-confidence motion against Zuma in parliament.

Ramaphosa usually publicly backs Zuma and his criticism of Gordhan's sacking was a sign of deepening divisions in the ruling African National Congress that are likely to worsen until the party elects a new leader in December.

"To read into the Constitution that the president must explain himself on the composition of the national executive to the opposition‚ is to use the judiciary to police political decisions and sets a very worrisome precedent‚" Kodwa said.

DA MP and Federal Executive Chairperson James Selfe said in a statement that he will be at the court to hear arguments in "our urgent application to compel President Jacob Zuma to supply his record of decision for his disastrous midnight cabinet reshuffle".

In a bid to reassure markets, Zuma has said that he expected the addition of several younger ministers would add energy to his cabinet.

Zuma's spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said the president would not comment on matters before the courts.

The reshuffle prompted global rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch to downgrade South Africa's sovereign credit to junk status in April.

"Every exercise of public power must be subject to the principles of legality and rationality, especially the exercise of all of the President's powers, which includes decisions to appoint or dismiss ministers and deputy ministers", said Selfe. Zuma has not responded to the ruling yet. Zuma says he will not resign unless his party asks him to leave.

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