Questions will now turn to the source and author of an intelligence report President Jacob Zuma reportedly relied on when he decided to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
The High Court in Pretoria has ordered Zuma to hand over to the Democratic Alliance (DA) within five working days the record of decisions related to his recent Cabinet reshuffle, which includes correspondence, contracts, memoranda, advice and recommendations.
Zuma told senior African National Congress (ANC) officials that he relied on an intelligence report which accused Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas of conspiring against him.
In its argument, the DA’s advocate Steven Budlender refers to public comments made by Cyril Ramaphosa, Jackson Mthembu and Zweli Mkhize, confirming Zuma’s reliance on an intelligence report.
The party’s James Selfe says it is now common cause that such a report was used to fire Gordhan.
“If the president doesn’t produce that report, we’d want to know what happened to it and what weight was attached to it because the importance of this application is that the president can’t now invent reasons with the benefit of hindsight.”
Judge Bashier Vally will deliver his full judgment next week.
The DA says if Zuma complies with the court order handed down on Thursday, he will be held to account for whatever he says or reveals in a later application to review his Cabinet reshuffle.
Selfe said Zuma will be bound by what he discloses in terms of the High Court order.
“But the important thing is that whatever reason he provides he will be held to in the subsequent review applications. If he simply, at this stage, says it was a political decision then we’re going to test that political decision on the rationality of it and the effect it had on the country.”