The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) on Friday said it welcomed the North Gauteng High Court ruling ordering President Jacob Zuma to explain his reasons for recent Cabinet reshuffle in which he fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
The ruling made on Thursday by Judge Bashir Vally follows an application by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on April 24 asking the court to force President Zuma to disclose his reasons for the Cabinet reshuffle.
Fedusa general-secretary Dennis George said: “The firing of Gordhan and Jonas, both vocal critics of the Guptas, have simply intensified the notion that the process of total capture of the South African has now been set firmly in motion. The timing of the announcement of the reshuffle, in the middle of the night, also serves to highlight the real motives and intent by the President Zuma.”
George added: “As happened in December 2015 when President Zuma abruptly fired the highly respected Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, and replacing him by Des van Rooyen, a little known ANC backbencher, billions of rand have been wiped off the value of workers’ pension funds.
“With the latest debacle, it will take us at least 10 years to recover from junk status and return to investment grade as a country”.
In answering affidavits, Zuma said the DA’s application was an abuse of court processes, which was also misconceived and without any merit whatsoever.
The president defended his actions saying he was exercising his prerogative to hire and fire ministers in terms of section 91 (2) of the Constitution which also protects from giving reasons for his actions. Zuma reshuffled the Cabinet on at midnight on 30 March.
Judge Vally disagreed and instead ordered Zuma to furnish the court with all records stating the reasons for his actions. He was ordered to do so within five days.