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ATM withdrawal halts no-confidence vote against Ramaphosa

The vote on the motion of no confidence into President Cyril Ramaphosa in parliament has been postponed until February next year.

The motion brought by the ATM was postponed by mutual agreement with the speaker of the national assembly to allow the Western Cape high court to hear an application by the party for the no-confidence vote to be conducted by secret ballot.

The application by the ATM, which had been brought hours before the no-confidence vote was scheduled to be held in parliament, will be heard on February 3 and February 4 next year.

The ATM brought the motion against Ramaphosa over the funding of his CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency, about which he subsequently misled parliament.  The party, whose leaders, including policy head Mzwanele Manyi, have links with the radical economic transformation (RET) faction in the ANC, appears to want to hope a secret ballot would allow RET MPs to vote against Ramaphosa.

On Thursday morning ATM president Vuyo Zungula wrote to speaker Thandi Modise asking that the motion be withdrawn to allow the court case to take place. In terms of parliamentary procedure, the debate would have continued, with an open vote, had he not done so.

Modise has, in recent weeks, turned down two motions by the ATM for a secret ballot on the no-confidence vote, which it first initiated in February this year. 

In a debate in the national assembly on November 26, Modise rejected a motion for a secret ballot, citing section (1) (d) of the constitution in doing so.

The ATM then decided to go to the courts to force Modise to allow the vote to take place in secret.

Other opposition parties had shown little support for the vote of no confidence in Ramaphosa, a far cry from their role in a similar vote against then-president Jacob Zuma.

The Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party had both, ahead of the scheduled motion, indicated they would not be backing the ATM, which has two MPs in the national assembly.

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Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

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