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President of the Republic of South Africa v Democratic Alliance and Others (CCT159/18) [2019] ZACC 35

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President of the Republic of South Africa v Democratic Alliance and Others (CCT159/18) [2019] ZACC 35

19th September 2019

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Click here to read the full judgment on Saflii

[1] Can the decision of the President of the Republic of South Africa to appoint and dismiss a Minister and his Deputy be reviewed and set aside?  Is the President under a rule 53 of the Uniform Rules of Court (rule 53)[1] obligation to disclose the reasons for relieving Cabinet Ministers and their Deputies of their duties or should the arguably raw political character of that decision perhaps exempt her from doing so?

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[2] The first question would have been answered fully, but was not, because the application that would have created the platform for doing so was withdrawn.  The second was, in a way, answered affirmatively in an interlocutory application, the outcome for which is sought to be challenged before this Court.  But, no regard was had to the distinctly political nature of those appointments or dismissals.

[3] We thus have to grapple with the question of whether it is in the interests of justice to grant leave to appeal against that order directing the President to disclose the reasons, as well as the relevant part of the record that forms the basis, for the decision to relieve a Minister and a Deputy of their constitutional responsibilities notwithstanding the mootness of the matter.

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