Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has refused to urgently furnish the DA with documents, including the so-called intelligence report, on which he allegedly based his decision to fire former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.
The DA will next week turn to the High Court in Pretoria in a bid to compel Zuma to urgently hand over to it these documents.
According to the DA it needs these documents to prepare for its main application against Zuma. No date has yet been set for the main application, which was lodged two days after Zuma’s controversial decision to reshuffle his cabinet and to fire Gordhan and Jonas.
In the main application the DA is asking that Zuma’s decision to axe Gordhan and Jonas, be declared unlawful and invalid. It is also asking that the decision to replace Gordhan with Malusi Gigaba, be overturned.
It also demanded that the president had to, within a few days of its lodging its main application, hand over to the DA all relevant reports and documents on which he based his decision to fire Gordhan and Jonas.
State attorney Kantoro Chowe, who this week filed an affidavit on behalf of Zuma in the interlocutory application, said the DA did not need the information it is asking for.
“The decision by President Jacob Zuma to reshuffle the cabinet, was informed by his political judgment that the move will best deliver on the mandate of the ANC (as) received from the majority of the electorate in the last general elections,” he said in a letter attached to his affidavit.
The letter was sent to the DA’s lawyer, Elzanne Jonker.
He said Zuma will in his answering affidavit to the main application, make it clear that he was entitled to reshuffle his cabinet.
Jonker, in the urgent application lodged this week, stated that the axing of Gordhan and Jonas were of an extraordinary serious and far reaching nature and a drastic step.
“The key question in the main application is whether and to what extent the president relied on the so-called intelligence report in making his dismissal decisions. That will only become clear once the record and reasons are furnished.”
Chowe, in response, said he battled to consult with the president due to the latter’s hectic work schedule. He, however, now received instructions from the president that the main application concerns an executive decision made by him and that the DA is thus not entitled to be furnished with the documents.
He said the president will, when he answers to the allegations in the main application, shed more light on his decision to reshuffle his cabinet and the “intelligence report.”
He questioned why the DA in any event needed it, as it had quoted extensively from this “so-called report” in its main application.