ANC lashes out at judge who wants Zuma to explain reshuffle

The ANC has lashed out at the North Gauteng High Court after it ordered President Jacob Zuma to explain his reasons for firing former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

The ruling party on Friday said that the ruling by Judge Bashier Vally in the Pretoria court was a clear case of judicial interference in matters of the executive.

“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 party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

This follows the filing of the Democratic Alliance’s urgent application with the court on April 24‚ to force Zuma to disclose his reasons for reshuffling his Cabinet on March 30.

However‚ Zuma’s lawyers argued that the DA had already acknowledged this and‚ on that basis‚ was not entitled to any record of the decision.

In court papers‚ the president had said that the opposition party’s urgent application to have reasons for the recent Cabinet reshuffle divulged was misconceived and without merit.

Kodwa said Zuma has no obligation to provide reasons to anyone for changes he makes to his Cabinet.

“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.

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