14/07/2017 12:54 SAST | Updated 14/07/2017 12:54 SAST

D-Day For Submissions On Secret Motion Of No Confidence -- But Will Baleka Mbete Listen?

"The Speaker is patently biased and therefore compromised."

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma with Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete.
POOL New / Reuters
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma with Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete.

Political parties and MPs had until Friday to submit reasons for and against the use of a secret ballot to Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete in the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Mbete two weeks ago scheduled the Democratic Alliance's request for a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma for the first week of August, following the Constitutional Court order that she has the power to decide on a secret ballot.

She requested that all parties take advantage of the National Assembly rules and register their viewpoints on a secret ballot formally by July 14.

Her decision will be taken thereafter, after considering all viewpoints and all factors, to come to a "well-informed and logical decision".

Read: ANC Members Are Angry Enough To Risk Their Jobs To Vote Against Zuma, Says Holomisa

Opposition parties held a joint press conference on Thursday in Pretoria to say they did not want Mbete to preside over the debate.

The parties represented were the ACDP, APC, COPE, DA, EFF, IFP and the UDM.

"We note her instructions to the ANC MPs to vote in favour of their president; the Speaker is patently biased and therefore compromised," a joint statement read out of by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said.

"She cannot preside over the debate. To add to this, Ms Mbete will act as president in the event of the success of the no-confidence-vote which makes her even more conflicted."

The parties also called on all South Africans to converge in Cape Town and march to Parliament in support of their call to remove the "incompetent president at the helm".

"Those who are not able to make it to Cape Town must engage in activities in their villages, townships and towns."

They also criticised Mbete for accusations she made that certain judges are biased against the ANC.

Her comments undermined her duty to act as a liaison between Parliament and the other arms of State, and was failing to separate her role as head of the National Assembly and ANC national chairperson.

'Motion will be defeated'

The parties would express their viewpoints in their submissions.

"However, we reinforce the ruling that it is within her discretion to make a determination. We hope that for once, she will be impartial and take a decision for the benefit of South Africa."

Acting ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli told News24 on Friday the party would also submit its recommendation to the Speaker before the end of business on Friday.

Their submission would not be different to the stance chief whip Jackson Mthembu took, following the Constitutional Court's order on June 22, she said.

They will support whichever decision the Speaker takes, confident in the fact that either way, the motion of no confidence will be defeated.

The party will not support an opposition-sponsored motion to remove its own president, Mthembu had said.

ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza also revealed two weeks ago that she had written to the Speaker requesting a secret ballot, citing her safety and recent death threats she has received, as her reasons.

The motion will take place on Tuesday, August 8.