The DA in North West has raised suspicion over the postponement of a motion of no confidence in the province's premier, Supra Mahumapelo.
The DA is speculating that a deal has been struck between the EFF – which brought the motion to the provincial legislature – and the ANC. This comes after the EFF launched an urgent court bid to force North West provincial speaker Susan Dantje to allow the vote to be held via secret ballot.
Dantje then postponed the motion, which was set to be held earlier on Tuesday morning, at the request of the EFF, pending the outcome of the court proceedings.
But the EFF says the court interdict was essential to protect members of the legislature in the ANC, and that the motion of no confidence will continue, no matter the outcome.
EFF is tabling motion of no confidence against North-West Premier Supra Obakeng Mahumapelo tomorrow. DA will support the motion. Opposition needs 8 more votes from ANC MPLs.— Hloni Nyetanyane (@HloniNyetanyane) April 16, 2018
When the motion is against Supra, it's a normal democratic process. It's not fascism.#SupraMahumapelo pic.twitter.com/p0b1RbCr9t
DA North West leader Joe McGluwa told HuffPost that the party would write to Dantje demanding an explanation of why she postponed the motion.
"The speaker is within her rights to make a decision on the secret ballot. She was requested by the EFF to postpone, and she notified the members in the early hours of the morning without giving an explanation for the postponement. We will be writing to the speaker requesting a detailed explanation of her reasons," McGluwa said.
"This has confirmed to us that there is a political romance between the EFF and ANC. ANC members have said openly that they will support the motion, even if it is not by secret ballot. So what was the point of asking for a postponement from the speaker? We will at all costs support the motion."
#SupraMahumapelo: The EFF's Betty Diale says they need at least 8 votes from the ANC, and as the sponsors of the motion they have the responsibility to ensure the protection of those MPLs that are willing to vote in favour of the motion. MS— Masechaba (@Mase_Sefularo) April 17, 2018
EFF North West leader Betty Diale rubbished the claims.
"We are confident that we can garner enough support for the motion to be successful. In fact, we already have enough support, but we must protect members in the legislature. It has been postponed pending the finalisation of the court proceedings. Irrespective of the court's decision, the motion will proceed," she said.
"In the past two months, there have been more scandals surrounding [Mahumapelo], and they have been more serious than before. We can't take it anymore, our province needs to be protected."
There are 33 seats in North West's provincial legislature. The ANC holds 23 seats and the opposition as a collective hold the remaining 10. At least 7 ANC members will have to support the motion for it to be successful.