South Africa's ANC accuses judiciary of pandering to opposition

Posted May 06, 2017

"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. He was also reportedly opposed to the government's excessive spending, angering Zuma and his allies.

South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) filed an application in court demanding that Zuma provide them with documents and records explaining why he reshuffled his cabinet.

Judge Bashier Vally ordered Zuma to dispatch records, correspondence, memorandums or any reports - including the so-called intelligence report - related to the cabinet reshuffle within five days.

Kodwa's statement was much stronger than comments he made immediately after the ruling on Thursday.

Fedusa general-secretary Dennis George said: "The firing of Gordhan and Jonas, both vocal critics of the Guptas, have simply intensified the notion that the process of total capture of the South African has now been set firmly in motion".

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, the ANC said.

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The DA says if Zuma complies with the court order handed down on Thursday, he will be held to account for whatever he says or reveals in a later application to review his Cabinet reshuffle.

The reshuffle prompted global rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch to downgrade South Africa's sovereign credit to junk status in April. Zuma has not responded to the ruling yet.

He has so far not given any specific reasons for removing Gordhan and replacing him with new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

In court papers, Mr Zuma had said the reshuffle was an executive decision that deserved protection from disclosure.

Zuma later said the cabinet reshuffle was based on the intelligence.