The ANC says the North Gauteng High Court judgement delivered yesterday, which orders the president to provide reasons for the cabinet reshuffle, is an interference of the judiciary in the realm of the executive.

The court said Zuma must provide it with records explaining the reason he made changes to the composition of the national executive on 30 March. The order comes after the DA filed an urgent application on 5 April with the North Gauteng High Court to request that Zuma’s decision to remove finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, be set aside on the grounds that it was irrational and therefore unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.

“Every exercise of public power must be subject to the principles of legality and rationality, especially the exercise of all of the president’s powers, which includes decisions to appoint or dismiss ministers and deputy Ministers,” the DA’s federal executive chairperson James Selfe said.

But ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said, “This judgment signifies unfettered encroachment of the judiciary into the realm of the executive – pandering to the whims of the opposition who want to co-govern with the popularly elected government through the courts.”

Kodwa said the constitution bestows upon the president powers to form his cabinet without imposing an obligation upon him to consult opposition parties in the exercise of this discretionary function. The flamboyant ANC spokesperson said to read into the constitution that the president must explain himself on the composition of the national executive to the opposition is to use the judiciary to police political decisions and sets a very worrisome precedent.

“The appointment of ministers and deputies as well as reshuffling of cabinet is a discretionary and political decision of the president of the republic derived from the constitution, hence we urge the president to appeal this judgement,” Kodwa said.