Ricochet News

Ruling that Zuma provides reasons for reshuffle sets bad precedent: ANC

May 5, 2017
Ruling that Zuma provides reasons for reshuffle sets bad precedent: ANC

The African National Congress (ANC) on Friday said that it has noted with concern the judgment delivered by the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday that President Jacob Zuma must furnish the court with records explaining the reason he made changes to the composition of the National Executive on the 30th March 2017.

"This judgment signifies unfettered encroachment of the judiciary into the realm of the executive - pandering to the whims of the opposition who want to co-govern with the popularly elected government through the courts," said ANC National Spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa.

"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.

"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 that 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, hence we urge the President to appeal this judgment.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which last week filed an urgent application to force President Zuma to supply his record of decision after he claimed that the DA and South Africa were not entitled to the reasons behind his disastrous decision, however, welcomed the judgement.

According to James Selfe MP, the DA's Federal Executive Chairperson; "The Democratic Alliance (DA) is elated by the order of the North Gauteng High Court ... This is a victory not only for the DA but for all South Africans who deserve to know on what basis the President made this disastrous decision."

He said that the High Court ruling paves way for the party's earlier application to review the rationality of his decision can proceed.

"The record of decision should also contain the now infamous ‘intelligence report’ which South Africa and the court can fully interrogate," said Selfe.

"It is high time that those in power and especially the President, are held accountable for their actions and decisions based on self-interest and personal gain rather than the best interests of our country.

"The fact is that President Zuma ought to have rationally foreseen the consequences of this reshuffle on our country and the 9 million unemployed people, who are likely to increase given the recent downgrades to junk status his decision precipitated.

"The DA will continue to pursue all possible avenues to ensure this because South Africa deserves leaders that put the people first."