Former president Jacob Zuma’s bad decisions spawned multiple far-reaching court rulings — almost all of which found some of his most significant choices to be irrational and unlawful. Zuma’s appointment of two national directors of public prosecutions and the firing of another, for example, were all deemed illegal by SA’s highest court. The Constitutional Court also upheld judgments lambasting the then president’s poor and self-interested choices in response to then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s reports on his Nkandla homestead and state capture. In short, during Zuma’s nine years in office, SA’s courts were asked, again and again, to evaluate the rationality behind and legality of some of his most crucial decisions. And, again and again, the courts found those decisions to be wanting. But, even as Zuma’s court losses piled up, one aspect of his decision-making remained immune from legal challenge: his appointment and firing of cabinet ministers. That is, until midnight on Marc...

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