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ANC lashes out at judge who wants Zuma to explain reshuffle

06 May 2017

A South African High Court today ordered President Jacob Zuma to reveal the documents he used to justify the controversial sacking of a widely respected finance minister, sparking economic turmoil.

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. Zuma must also hand over "record of all documents and electronic records, including correspondence, contracts, memoranda, advices, recommendations, evaluations and reports that related to the making of the decision".

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.

The amateurish document held that Gordhan and Jonas were conspiring with global financiers to topple Zuma, providing no evidence for the assertion.

The ANC urged Zuma to appeal this judgment. "The timing of the announcement of the reshuffle, in the middle of the night, also serves to highlight the real motives and intent by the President Zuma".

Zuma argued he was exercising his powers in terms of section 91 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

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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.

The Democratic Alliance, which filed the application, said on Thursday that the matter was urgent, as more damage was being done to the economy with every passing day.

The reshuffle caused the rand currency to plummet and the country's sovereign credit rating was downgraded to "junk status" by global agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

Zuma later said the cabinet reshuffle was based on the intelligence. Zuma has not responded to the ruling yet.

"It is an abuse of court process", he said.

ANC lashes out at judge who wants Zuma to explain reshuffle