JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Lawyers for South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday requested legal permission for an appeal against a High Court order to give reasons for his decision to fire finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle, eNCA television said.
Gordhan’s firing led to sovereign debt downgrades, large street protests and calls for Zuma’s resignation.The president has never given specific reasons for removing Gordhan and replacing him with Malusi Gigaba.
Zuma’s spokesman and lawyers were not immediately available to comment on the request for an appeal.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), which requested the High Court order, also called for a no-confidence motion against Zuma in parliament saying his cabinet changes were harmful to the economy.
“The President is clearly hell-bent on keeping these reasons from the people of South Africa and is using every possible court process to do so,” James Selfe, a DA lawmaker and head of its executive, said.
On Friday, the ruling African National Congress accused the judiciary of pandering to the opposition in ordering Zuma to explain why he fired Gordhan, and urged Zuma to appeal against the High Court’s ruling.
(Reporting by James Macharia; Editing by Louise Ireland)