DA launches High Court bid to set aside Zuma’s decision to fire Gordhan
Bianca Capazorio | 2017-04-04 19:59:41.0
Selfe said he was approaching the courts to reinstate Gordhan and Jonas because “the exercise of every public power is subject to the principal of legality” and such power needed to be exercised for “legitimate government purposes and exercised on the correct facts”. File photo
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
The Democratic Alliance has lodged an urgent application to set aside and declare unlawful the axing of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire them was invalid‚ irrational and unconstitutional‚ the party argued in an affidavit submitted to the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
DA MP James Selfe‚ and chairman of the party’s Federal Executive‚ said in his affidavit that that the implications of Zuma’s decision to fire the two ministers were of an “extraordinarily serious and far reaching nature”.
He highlighted the impact that the decision had on the economy of South Africa‚ including the country’s downgrading to junk status by ratings agency S&P.
He argued that these “calamitous consequences were entirely foreseeable” based on how the markets had previously reacted to his firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
Selfe said he was approaching the court to reinstate Gordhan and Jonas because‚ “The exercise of every public power is subject to the principal of legality” and such power needed to be exercised for “legitimate government purposes and exercised on the correct facts”.
The court application said that Zuma had relied on a dubious intelligence report to make his decision‚ which had since been denounced in public by several high ranking African National Congress officials and the South African Communist Party.
He also argued that Zuma’s cabinet reshuffling could not be seen as an attempt at improving efficiency because Ministers Faith Muthambi and Bathabile Dlamini had not been axed‚ despite severe problems in their respective portfolios of Communications and Social Development.
Zuma‚ Gordhan‚ Jonas and newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi are named as the respondents in the urgent application.