Mbete to announce decision on secret ballot

National Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete will on Monday announce her decision on the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

This comes as the country waits eagerly to hear if the vote of no confidence in Zuma will be done through a secret or open vote.

A statement issued by Parliament, on Sunday evening, said Mbete will address the media on the voting procedure to be followed when the motion of no confidence in the president is debated on 8 August.

READ MORE: ANC MPs warned against supporting motion of no confidence

The call for Zuma’s eighth motion of no confidence came after the president reshuffled his Cabinet on March 30, a move that saw then finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas sacked. 

The reshuffle was followed by the economy being downgraded to a sub-investment grade, also known as junk status.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) asked Mbete to schedule a motion of no confidence in Zuma, with the UDM later asking Mbete to prescribe a secret ballot.

Mbete said she had no authority in law or in terms of the rules of Parliament to determine a secret ballot be used for voting on the motion.

In June, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mbete, as Speaker, has the constitutional power to decide whether or not to hold a secret ballot during the motion.

READ MORE: In or out, Jacob Zuma remains a problem

Mbete previously said she would make her decision known before the August 8 vote.

Whilst opposition parties have urged ANC members of Parliament to join in their motion of no confidence in Zuma, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on Friday that voting in favour of the motion would be like “throwing a nuclear bomb at the country”.

“The removal of the president will have disastrous consequences that can only have a negative impact on the people of South Africa,” he told reporters at Parliament.

EFF leader Julius Malema told News24 in July that his party had already prepared legal papers to interdict Mbete should she refuse to allow a secret ballot.

“The papers are ready. When she gives that letter, we will not even read the whole thing, but just the conclusion. Once she says ‘open vote’, we are serving her.

“She has to give rational reasons. Failure to do that, and we will take her to court. We know she is unreasonable,” said Malema. – News24

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Alex Mitchley
Alex Mitchley
South African Journalist at News24

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