NEWS

Judge: Zuma Is Allowed To Appeal Ruling That He Must Explain Cabinet Reshuffle

But Judge Bashier Vally doesn't think he will succeed.

02/06/2017 16:09 SAST | Updated 02/06/2017 16:09 SAST
Rogan Ward / Reuters

Judge Bashier Vally has on Friday granted President Jacob Zuma leave to appeal the ruling that he must hand over records explaining his controversial cabinet reshuffle.

Vally said there were no reasonable prospects of success, however there may be other compelling reasons.

"It is a notorious fact that the public interest in this case post the issuance of my judgment has been wide, deep and intense. I am entitled to take judicial notice of this fact," he said.

Zuma is now allowed to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The infamous late night reshuffle saw Pravin Gordhan axed as finance minister, along with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, among others.

Intelligence report
At the time, an intelligence report was alleged to have sparked the reshuffle and Zuma's earlier request that Gordhan return from an investor roadshow abroad.

Advocate Ismael Semenya, for Zuma, argued earlier that the court erred in finding that Rule 53 must be read to include executive decisions, "even though nothing in the language of Rule 53 suggests that it should be interpreted to include executive decisions".

In their heads of arguments, Semenya also stated that the court had erred in holding that it was relevant for the Democratic Alliance to state whether or not the record was available.

"The High Court erred in holding that the letter of 11 April 2017 gives the impression that the record would be furnished."

However advocate Steven Budlender, for the DA, said leave to appeal should not be granted on the basis that there were no compelling reasons and that a different court would not come to a different decision.

"We don't have to adopt a literal approach; you can take the language of the law and apply to context," he said.

He added that without the records they would not be able to submit their fair hearing rights.

The DA filed an urgent application on April 24 to force Zuma to disclose his reasons for reshuffling his Cabinet, and on May 4, Vally ruled in favour of the application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Zuma's lawyers then bizarrely asked the DA to produce the very same intelligence report that the party wanted Zuma to supply.

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