Presidency denies opposing DA action to force cabinet reshuffle

Malusi Gigaba
Malusi Gigaba
Image: Trevor Samson

The Presidency has disowned a notice filed in court on Tuesday to oppose an application by the DA calling for minister of women in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini and home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba to be fired.

The State Attorney filed the notice in the North Gauteng High Court‚ sending a message that President Cyril Ramaphosa was opposing the DA’s case which argues that the reappointment of the ministers in February was unlawful and should be set aside.

However‚ Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko‚ said the president was still applying his mind to the matter.

“Whomever filed this notice to oppose did not do so following instructions from the president‚” she said.

Diko said they had until November 13 to “make clear the presidency’s intention to oppose or not and that due date will be met”.

The official opposition went to court seeking an order that would declare the appointment of Dlamini and Gigaba in Ramaphosa’s first cabinet reshuffle as “unlawful‚ unconstitutional and invalid”.

The DA wants the court to declare Gigaba’s appointment as inconsistent with his constitutional obligations.

The case is set down to be heard on March 11‚ 2019‚ and Ramaphosa would have to defend his decision to retain the pair in his cabinet despite them being found by courts to have lied under oath.

Ramaphosa is under further pressure to take action against Gigaba after public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that he violated the executive ethics code‚ the Constitution and parliament’s code of conduct when he lied under oath.

The Constitutional Court last week dismissed Gigaba’s application for leave to appeal against a lower court ruling that he had lied to the court in the Fireblade case.

In December 2017‚ the North Gauteng High Court found that Gigaba had “deliberately told untruths under oath”.

In September‚ the Constitutional Court found that Dlamini had tried to mislead the court in the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) case.