President Jacob Zuma's lawyers have asked the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) to produce the very intelligence report that the DA wants Zuma to supply, in a bizarre twist to the sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
''The president issued a demand [in terms of court rule 33], asking us to produce the so-called intelligence report,'' said an incredulous James Selfe, chairperson of the Federal Executive of the DA.
Selfe explained that during the ''discovery'' period leading up to court litigation, the court rules allow that documents referred to in founding affidavits - in this case the intelligence report - be handed over to the other side.
The DA has applied to the High Court in Pretoria to force Zuma to produce the report that he used to justify his midnight Cabinet reshuffle on March 30.
Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas were among those fired, and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba took over the hot seat, with Sfiso Buthelezi as his deputy.
Gordhan had been told to return urgently from an overseas investor roadshow.
After the reshuffle, a shocked Cyril Ramaphosa said he was upset that they seemed to have been removed over a conspiracy allegation.
Selfe said the intelligence report was referred to in the DA's affidavit on the grounds of media references to it made by senior African National Congress (ANC) leaders such as deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
As far as the DA is concerned, this is reminiscent of when the president ''pulled every trick in the book'' to delay the DA's eventually successful application to get the ''spy tapes'' that got Zuma's corruption charges withdrawn.
''It is nothing more, or less than, a frivolous delaying tactic on behalf of the president,'' said Selfe.
''We will respond to them in a very robust way by pointing out that it is them that has to produce the report.''
Shortly after the Cabinet reshuffle, State Security Minister David Mahlobo told media he had heard of the report being circulated within the ANC, but had not had his hands on a copy.