JOHANNESBURG South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) accused the judiciary of pandering to the opposition in ordering President Jacob Zuma to explain why he fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle.
The ANC urged Zuma to appeal against Thursday's High Court ruling which triggered large street protests against him and led to more calls for his resignation.
The ANC said in a statement that the appointment of ministers and deputies, as well as reshuffling of the cabinet, was "a discretionary and political decision of the president".
"This judgment signifies unfettered encroachment of the judiciary into the realm of the executive - pandering to the whims of the opposition who want to co-govern with the popularly elected government through the courts," the ANC said.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance had filed the court application. The party has also called for a no-confidence motion against Zuma in parliament.
The presidency was not immediately available to comment.
The opposition and even some members of Zuma's cabinet, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, said at the time that Zuma had removed Gordhan on the basis of a "spurious" intelligence report.
That report accused Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas of plotting with banks in London to undermine the South African economy. Jonas was also fired by Zuma. Both Gordhan and Jonas have rejected the accusations in the report.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)