The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the ruling by Judge Bashir Vally of the North Gauteng High Court ordering President Jacob Zuma to explain his controversial Cabinet reshuffle at mid-night on Friday, 31 March 2017 that saw former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Deputy Mcebisi Jonas losing their jobs.
The ruling 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.
In answering affidavits, President Zuma said the DA’s application was an abuse of court processes, which was also misconceived and without any merit whatsoever. The President also pointed out that 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.
Gordhan and Jonas have since been replaced by former ANC Youth League President Malusi Gigaba and its MP Sifiso Buthelezi, respectively. Judge Vally also ordered President Zuma to furnish the court with all records stating the reasons for his actions that has resulted in the rand going into a free fall and South Africa’s sovereign rating downgraded to junk status by credit rating agencies Standard and Poor and Fitch. A third credit rating agency, Moody’s has placed South Africa on a review for a junk status.
“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,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.
“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 rands 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”.
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
For interviews please contact:
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
Cell: 060 676 9145