Dozens of people gathered outside Parliament in Cape Town yesterday to protest against the reshuffling of the cabinet by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday night. The changes include the removal of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.
Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire finance minister Pravin Gordhan and several other ministers has been sharply criticised by opposition parties and civil society, with protests outside Parliament and a court application by the DA on Friday.

But the Western Cape High Court threw out the DA’s urgent application to stop the swearing in by Zuma of the new ministers and deputy ministers.

DA federal executive committee chairman James Selfe said this was not the end of the road for the matter. He said the party would lodge a review application soon on the axing of Gordhan.

The DA had brought the urgent application to halt the damage Zuma was causing to the country, he said.

The cabinet reshuffle was done irrationally and in bad faith, and this was the argument the DA used in its application, he said.

Following the unsuccessful interdict to block the swearing-in ceremony of the minis- ters the DA would sit down with its legal team to decide on the review application.

In his ruling Judge Owen Rogers said any decision had to be based on fact and not perceptions. However, he said the issue of the weakening rand and risk of a downgrade in the next few months were issues that had to be taken seriously.

If rating agencies downgraded South Africa, it would increase the cost of borrowing and make it difficult for the government to do some of things, including reducing poverty, he said.

“Our decision in this matter is not about the rights or wrongs of the president. We simply say at this stage it will not be right for us to intervene,” said Rogers.

He said the DA was entitled to lodge a review application.