NEWS

ConCourt To Consider Application For No Confidence Vote In Zuma To Be Held In Secret

Opposition parties want the no confidence motion on 18 April to be postponed for the court to hear all submissions.

11/04/2017 13:26 SAST | Updated 11/04/2017 17:50 SAST
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UDM president Bantu Holomisa.

The United Democratic Movement says it has won the first step in the fight for a no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma to be held in secret after the Constitutional Court granted access to consider the application.

UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, went to the court on Monday after National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete turned down a request for MPs to be allowed to vote anonymously in the ballot on 18 April.

Holomisa tweeted the news the ConCourt would hear the application on Tuesday. However, the court has reserved the right to issue further directions, meaning it could still decline to hear the case.

Partes opposed to the motion have until 13 April to make submissions and replies to those submissions need to come in by 19 April. Both sides have until 21 April to make written submissions, meaning the motion scheduled for 18 April in Parliament may have to be delayed.

The Democratic Alliance said it had written to Mbete to ask the motion to be delayed until the ConCourt had heard the case, and the EFF also requested the same.

Holomisa told News24 what would now happen:

Explaining what this meant, he said their lawyer, Eric Mabuza, would now write to the Speaker to ask for a postponement of the motion of no confidence.

"If she [Speaker Baleka Mbete] refuses, then we will put in an urgent application to stop the motion," he said.

Voting procedures are determined by the Constitution and the rules of the assembly, a Parliamentary statement said on Monday.

"Neither the Constitution nor the rules of the assembly provide for a vote of no confidence to be conducted by secret ballot, and the Speaker has no authority in law to alter such provisions," continued the statement.

In 2015, the Western Cape High Court dismissed an application which sought to force the National Assembly to vote on a motion of no confidence by secret ballot, the statement said.

"We went to the court because we want to make sure that all Members of Parliament will vote freely without any intimidation from their bosses," said Holomisa on Monday.