ALSO ~ The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and My Vote Counts NPC (MVC) have approached the Constitutional Court for relief against the President and the National Assembly.
In this application, the Court is requested:
- to review and declare the President’s decision dismissing Mr Pravin Gordhan and Mr Mcebisi Jonas as Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance respectively, unconstitutional and invalid and to set it aside;
- to declare that both the President and the National Assembly have violated their constitutional duties; and
- to direct the Speaker of the National Assembly to institute an investigation into the conduct of the President with a view to possible removal proceedings against the President, in terms of Section 89 of the Constitution.
The HSF and MVC firmly believe that if one has regard to the debacle surrounding the dismissal of Minister Nene in December 2015, to the Nkandla scandal, and to the latest cabinet reshuffle, the President has established a pattern of conduct. This pattern is one of irrational and unlawful behaviour, without proper regard for the Constitution and with astonishing disregard for the situation of the poor and disadvantaged sections of society, who will be the first to suffer the economic consequences of his irrational actions.
In addition, the National Assembly and its Speaker have failed to take the necessary steps against the President’s conduct. The National Assembly has, in particular, failed in its duty to maintain oversight of organs of state and to hold them accountable, as required under Section 55(2) of the Constitution. For these reasons, we are launching this application against both the President and the National Assembly.
The immediate reactions by the financial markets to the downgrading by international ratings agencies have been well publicised. But we are even more concerned at the longer term damage to the real economy. These downgrades will lead to higher borrowing costs for Government. The consequential increase in Government’s debt servicing costs will make less funding available for Government spending, particularly when annual economic growth is well under 1%. This will put pressure on State spending on education and training, human settlements, health and social protection, which already make up 56% of total Government expenditure. Inevitably, a general dampening of business confidence and a negative effect on investment decisions will in time lead to lower economic growth and fewer new jobs being created.
James Selfe MP, Federal Executive Chairperson
10 May 2017
The President has this afternoon filed a court application to frustrate and delay the legal process to review his disastrous cabinet reshuffle and the firing of Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas.
President Zuma has served upon the DA a notice of application for leave to appeal against the order of Judge Vally, handed down last Thursday, which requires him to deliver the record of decision by the close of business tomorrow.
The President is clearly hell-bent on keeping these reasons from the people of South Africa and is using every possible court process to do so.
President Zuma has also filed a notice in terms of Rule 35(12) to bizarrely request that the DA should provide him with the so-called “intelligence report” upon which he allegedly relied in recalling Pravin Gordhan from his investor roadshow in London, and ultimately firing him from cabinet four days later.
The “intelligence report” has been widely communicated on and addressed by senior members of President Zuma’s own government and party, including the Deputy President and the Speaker of the National Assembly, and it is, therefore, dumbfounding that he would require the DA to supply him with this report. We are led to conclude that President Zuma is using this medium as another delaying tactic in avoiding accountability for his disastrous reshuffle that has severe consequences for all people of South Africa.
We have all seen this movie before. These tactics are substantially the very same tactics used by Jacob Zuma in the Spy Tapes matter to delay as long as possible the course of justice and to prevent 783 charges being reinstated against him.
The DA views these moves by Jacob Zuma as desperate attempts to frustrate the course of justice, wherein he must be held to account for the effects of his executive actions that we contend were irrational and should be set aside.
The DA does not believe that President Zuma’s application for leave to appeal has a likelihood of success, and we, therefore, will resist the President’s application with vigour.