Johannesburg - The DA has launched a court application seeking to challenge President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to keep ministers Bathabile Dlamini and Malusi Gigaba in his Cabinet.
The DA plans to ask the North Gauteng High Court for a declaratory order that will declare the appointment of Dlamini, as the minister of women in the presidency and Malusi Gigaba as home affairs minister, in February this year should be deemed "unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid".
The party wants the court to set aside Ramaphosa decision to keep the two when he reshuffled his Cabinet earlier this year. That decision was widely criticised.
The DA's case will be heard on March 11, 2019. DA leader Mmusi Maimane confirmed that Ramaphosa had been served with the court papers.
Maimane said the two cannot remain as ministers as they had been found to have lied under oath in court cases involving their work.
"We are of the view that the decision by the President to reappoint these two ministers in February this year fails the legal test of rationality, and as such we are seeking an order declaring the President’s decisions to retain both the Dlamini and Gigaba in his Cabinet to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. The DA also seeks an order reviewing the decisions and setting them aside," said Maimane.
The party also wants Dlamini, Ramaphosa and Gigaba to be held liable for costs.
"As it pertains to costs, we are asking the court to direct the first respondent – the President - to pay the costs of this application, jointly and severally with any other respondent who opposes this application. This is to ensure that if either Malusi Gigaba or Bathabile Dlamini choose to adopt Zuma-esque delay tactics in opposing this application, they are to pay out of their own pockets. South Africans will not bear the cost of millions of rands for errant ministers attempts to “clear their names”," said Maimane.
A high court judgment issued last year involving a matter on the Fireblade VIP airport terminal, in which Gigaba's department was opposing, ruled that he had deliberately lied under oath.
Last week, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Gigaba violated the constitution and the executive ethics code when he told untruths under oath in court.
Mkhwebane had directed that Ramaphosa must take action against Gigaba for violating the constitution by lying.
In September, the Constitutional Court ruled that Dlamini, then the minister of social development, should pay for costs incurred during litigation of the Sassa saga. An inquiry that was set up to figure out whether she should be held liable for costs, found that she had lied to the Concourt and during the inquiry.IOL