- President Jacob Zuma was in the NCOP for a Q&A session
- Zuma says Constitution allows him to hire or fire cabinet members after careful consideration
- People don’t need to know the reasons for cabinet reshuffles
President Jacob Zuma says cabinet reshuffles are his right as head of state and he has no obligation to explain his decisions to the public or Parliament.
Zuma said that anyone who wanted to know the process behind a cabinet reshuffle should win an election and find out for themselves.
President Zuma was in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) earlier on Thursday for a questions and answers session.
Briefly.co.za learned from Citizen.co.za that Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Johan Londt asked Zuma about his controversial decision in March to dismiss Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
A fiery Zuma told Londt that Section 91 of the Constitution allowed him as head of state to appoint and or remove cabinet ministers and he had after careful consideration decided to dismiss Gordhan.
Zuma said his decision was the subject of careful consideration.
In his follow-up question, Londt asked if Zuma had appointed David Mahlobo as Minister of Energy in an attempt to fast-track the nuclear build program.
Zuma did not reply directly to the question but in answer, he said: “the changing of a minister is the prerogative of the president and the reasons are not necessarily to be known by people. If you want to know‚ win elections and have a government.”
Later when Zuma was asked whether he would consider releasing the records of his cabinet reshuffle decision he looked surprised and said that there was no record for him to release because his decision had been the record.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Mntomuhle Khawula later said the President’s decision to dismiss South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education and Training defied logic.
Zuma responded by saying that no decision made by the president was illogical.
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