The Democratic Alliance (DA) has filed an urgent application with the North Gauteng High Court seeking to force President Jacob Zuma to supply reasons for his recent decision to reshuffle Cabinet, including the firing of Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas.
“In our founding papers, the DA requested the court to order President Zuma to provide a written record of decision and reasons for the reshuffle, yet disingenuously the President’s reply to our papers claims that South Africa is not entitled to know why he acted as he did because he was exercising his executive power,” said James Selfe from the DA.
In a letter from the State Attorney, Zuma stated that “the decision to reshuffle cabinet as he did was informed by his political judgement that the reshuffle will best deliver on the mandate of the African National Congress”.
This does not in any way justify the President’s decision being beyond scrutiny.
The effect of his decision on South Africa is plain for all to see and led directly to two international rating agencies downgrading the country to junk status.
“Our currency also went into free-fall and will, in all likelihood, lead to job losses which we can ill-afford given that a staggering 8.9 million South Africans cannot find work.
President Zuma ought to have known that this would likely be the result of his rash action in firing Gordhan and Jonas, since the decision to drop Nhlanhla Nene from the finance ministry in 2015 had similar consequences for the economy.
It is well-known that for some time President Zuma has been trying to have more direct control over the National Treasury, so as to advance his insiders, and the reshuffle needs to be seen in that light, and that is why it is of paramount importance that the public know the real reasons why Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas were replaced,” added Selfe.