The Constitutional Court has ruled today that the decision on whether to hold a secret ballot in Parliament, during a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, lies with the Speaker of the National Assembly.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng pointedly said that the Speaker herself, Baleka Mbete, has said she is not opposed to a Secret Ballot, and ordered her to make a fresh decision.
The DA’s Mmusi Maimane tweeted afterwards: “Our challenge has always been that the Speaker of the NA is the chairperson of the ANC & a candidate @conference. #BalekamustGo.”
Mogoeng stressed that Members of Parliament are required to swear allegiance to South Africa and the Constitution, and not to their party. He reminded MPs that they are in these positions “because the people put them there”.
The ConCourt can not order the Speaker to conduct a Secret Ballot, Mogoeng said, because that would be a violation of separation of powers.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) which brought the application said it felt “vindicated”.
The DA said that now that the ConCourt has ruled on the secret ballot matter, the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma can be scheduled for debate.
“The DA has today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request the DA-sponsored Motion of No Confidence be scheduled at the earliest available opportunity.”
Watch the reactions of other political parties below.
Watch Political parties react to ConCourt ruling #SecretBallot
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) June 22, 2017