ConCourt challenge on Zuma’s decision to sack Gordhan premature: law expert

The application by the Helen Suzman Foundation to challenge President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy is “premature”‚ a political analyst says.

On Wednesday‚ the foundation and My Vote Counts issued a statement in which they announced that they have approached the Constitutional Court to review and set aside Zuma’s decision to fire Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas.

Former South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: AFP

The organisations’ application seeks the following from the court:
– To declare Gordhan’s and Jonas’ dismissal unconstitutional and invalid and to set it aside;
– To declare that President Jacob Zuma and the National Assembly violated their constitutional duties; and
– to direct the Speaker of the National Assembly to institute an investigation into the president’s conduct‚ with a view to possible removal proceedings against Zuma‚ in terms of Section 89 of the constitution.

Constitutional Law expert Professor Shadrack Gutto said it was early for the application as there was already a similar application by the Democratic Alliance (DA) currently underway in the Pretoria High Court.

“The application is a bit premature and it’s overriding other processes. We can’t have two processes going on at once‚” Gutto said.

He said the prospects of the application succeeding will depend on the outcome of the DA application.

The Pretoria High Court last week ordered Zuma to provide reasons for firing Gordhan and Jonas. He has until Thursday to do so.

Zuma axed Gordhan and Jonas in March‚ along with several other ministers‚ in a Cabinet reshuffle that was widely criticised. Senior ANC leaders also criticised the reshuffle‚ saying they were not consulted.

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