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DA wants urgent review of Cabinet reshuffle

The High Court in Pretoria has ordered President Zuma to hand over to the party all documents related to his decision to reshuffle his Cabinet.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma addresses the Presidential Local Government Summit held in Midrand. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA – The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it wants its review of President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle to be heard as a matter of urgency because every passing day there is further damage to the economy.

The High Court in Pretoria has ordered Zuma to hand over to the party all documents related to his decision to fire former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and several other ministers at the end of March.

The DA’s James Selfe says they want the Cabinet reshuffle review application to be heard as early as next month.

“I think it is urgent. For every passing day, there’s more damage to the economy and there’s another rating agency that still has to make up its mind about whether to downgrade South Africa and we’d hope that the court would play along with us in making sure that we can review the rationality as soon as possible.”

President Zuma could, however, try to appeal the decision.

But this would be difficult because this ruling was made in an interlocutory application, which means it’s not a final order of the court.

WATCH: Zuma: I reshuffled Cabinet to get more young people in leadership

The party says if President Zuma did rely on an intelligence report to reshuffle his Cabinet, they expect it to be part of the records when they are handed over.

Several senior African National Congress (ANC) member publicly raised concerns over a so-called intelligence report that Zuma allegedly relied on.

Selfe said they expect that document to form part of whatever is handed over to them.

“To the extent of that may have played a role, we would expect that document to be a part of that record. And as everybody knows that was common knowledge at the time that that did, in fact, play such a role, then we’d expect that to form part of the record.”

‘ZUMA WILL BE BOUND BY WHAT HE DISCLOSES’

The DA says if President 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 reshuffle.

Selfe said Zuma will be bound by what he discloses in terms of the High Court order.

“But the important thing is that whatever reason he provides, he will be held to in the subsequent review applications. If he simply, at this stage, says it was a political decision then we’re going to test that political decision on the rationality of it and the effect it had on the country.”

Judge Bashier Vally has ordered the president to hand over, within five days, all documents and electronic records related to the reshuffle decision.

The judge said these include, correspondence, contracts, memoranda, advice and recommendations.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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