POLITICS

Zuma: 'I Don't Have To Explain Why I Reshuffle Cabinet' (Laughs)

“The question of the changing of ministers is a prerogative of the president. These are reasons that is not necessary to be known by people.”

16/11/2017 15:37 SAST | Updated 16/11/2017 15:37 SAST
Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2, 2017.

President Jacob Zuma says it is not necessary to disclose the reasons for his two Cabinet reshuffles in March and October this year.

The president was answering questions at the National Council of Provinces -- the last time he will do so this year -- on Thursday.

Responding to a question by the DA's Johan Londt -- who wanted to know what the president's reasons were for his Cabinet reshuffle in October -- Zuma said it was his presidential prerogative.

"The president of the Republic has the prerogative to appoint and remove members of Cabinet. I exercised this power after careful consideration. The specific decision to which you refer is presently the subject of judiciary consideration," Zuma said.

The ANC is too big and has superior policies...

But in answering supplementary questions, specifically on his reasons for appointing David Mahlobo as minister of energy, Zuma did not comply.

"The question of the changing of ministers is a prerogative of the president. These are reasons that [are] not necessary to be known by people," he said, much to the dismay of the House.

"The negative narrative that is very dominant in this country emanates from a number of things. There are people who do not necessarily support the ANC as a ruling party. The reason is that the ANC is too big and has superior policies... Of course it is more prevalent within the opposition parties. Therefore, the best thing they can do is just produce negativity."

The president also dodged his next question by the Inkatha Freesom Party's Mntomuhle Khawula, who wanted to know if the performance of former Cabinet members such as Pravin Gordhan, Mcebisi Jonas, Blade Nzimande and Derek Hanekom had any bearing on their dismissal.

Zuma repeated the same answer he gave Londt and chuckled afterwards.