African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has denied apologising to President Jacob Zuma after publicly criticising him for his Cabinet reshuffle last month.
Following the reshuffle, Mantashe told Xolani Gwala in an interview that he knew nothing about the list of the new Cabinet ministers who were appointed that night. In fact, according to Mantashe, the list was developed “elsewhere”.
Following Mantashe’s criticism of Zuma, reports emerged claiming he and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa were forced to apologise, hence Mantashe’s U-turn when he came out to wish the newly appointed members of parliament “the best”.
But The Sowetan reports that Mantashe said he did not apologise to the president, despite Zuma’s alleged submission to the Constitutional Court that the secretary-general had apologised for publicly criticising his decision.
The president reportedly told the court Mantashe and Ramaphosa apologised.
Though Mantashe has made a U-turn on the president’s reshuffle, political parties still have not accepted it, with the DA on Tuesday having filed an urgent application with the North Gauteng High Court to force Zuma to supply reasons for his decision to reshuffle Cabinet, including firing Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas.
“This latest urgent application is necessary to force the president to disclose the reasons for and the record of his decision to reshuffle his cabinet so that our earlier application to review the rationality of his decision can proceed.
“In our founding papers for this urgent application to compel, the DA requests the court to order President Zuma to provide a written record of decision and reasons for the reshuffle, yet disingenuously the president’s reply to our papers claims that South Africa is not entitled to know why he acted, as he did because he was exercising his executive power,” DA said in a statement.
The president has previously in a letter stated that “the decision to reshuffle Cabinet as he did was informed by his political judgment that the reshuffle will best deliver on the mandate of the African National Congress”.