This might not be a good time for the incumbent president Jacob Zuma. A court sitting in Johannesberg seem to have broken the defenses of the South African leader. High court judge Bashir vally says the Democratic Alliance (DA) is entitled to review an executive decision made by President Jacob Zuma.

Vally has given reasons for his ruling that Zuma must hand over all records explaining his cabinet reshuffle.

The president’s controversial Cabinet reshuffle, in which he fired former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, saw the country’s credit rating being downgraded to junk status by two ratings agencies.

Vally has relied on the interpretation of rule 53 when it comes to reviewing an executive decision.

The rule, established in 1965, was devised to regulate the procedure followed for cases of review. However, President Zuma has relied on the provision that it does not apply to an application to review an executive decision.

Vally says rule 53 was established at a time when executive decisions were not subject to review.

Vally says the rule allows the courts to perform their inherent review function to scrutinize the exercise of public power for compliance with constitutional prescription.

Based on these reasons and others, Vally ruled that Zuma must hand over all records to explain his Cabinet reshuffle.