Cabinet Reshuffle Court Ruling: On Thursday, May 5, the North Gauteng High Court gave President Jacob Zuma 7 days to explain why he fired Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
This singular decision simply means by next week, millions of people across the globe would finally hear Zuma’s ‘truth’ on why he took the unilateral and detrimental move.
Since the reshuffle was made, there has been speculation as to the president’s reasons for his decisions.
There’s a strong belief that he got rid of the finance minister because he wants to expressly gain access to the National Treasury and also flip the door open for his allies wanting to loot the state through dodgy contacts.
But Zuma contradicted the claims on Thursday at the World Economic Forum, held in Durban, claiming that the shuffle was triggered by the need for younger leaders in his cabinet.
“I reshuffled my Cabinet recently and I put a lot of young people in my Cabinet. Of course, people have different views about that, but that’s democracy,” he reportedly said.
However, following Thursday’s court ruling on the reshuffle, Pravin Gordhan told reporters that he won’t be returning to his position if the court finally reverses Zuma’s decision.
Speaking on the sidelines of the screening of a local documentary titled: ‘Promises and Lies: The ANC, Exile and the Project of Freedom’, held at Constitution Hill, the embattled minister emphasised that he is ‘not chasing any job’.
The documentary centres around never-before-seen images of ANC leaders in exile in Zambia and other countries captured by British photographer Laurie Sparham.
It also embodied interviews with former finance minister Trevor Manuel as well as Robert McBride‚ head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
The application to declare Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle unlawful and set it aside was brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
DA’s Selfie said on Thursday, even if Zuma decides to appeal the ruling, he’ll still have to provide a record of his decision and the relevant documents to court next week.
Truth be told, it is no news that Zuma’s approach has always been to draw out and postpone cases through appeals.
This time, the DA believes the president is apparently left with little or no manoeuvring room, insisting that he must provide reasons for his decision next week and would come under heavy scrutiny if he tries to be smart this time.
The controversial reshuffle was greeted with mass public protests, an explosion of the divisions within the ANC and the alliance, and heightened efforts by opposition parties and civil society to remove Zuma from office.
The onslaught against Gordhan fully came to play in 2016 when he was perceptively witch-hunted by the Hawks.
The hostility against him from Zuma’s camp denied his support even from his colleagues. At the time, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko defended the Hawks’ action by sending 27 questions to Gordhan on the eve of the 2016 Budget Speech.
Now Gordhan has insisted that he won’t return to his post if the court reverses Zuma’s decision. If that happens, what would be the fate of SA’s struggling economy? Of course, many believe new finance Gigaba isn’t competent enough to pull SA from the current downgrade – for now.