Breaking: ConCourt Grants UDM Access Over Secret Ballot

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

The United Democratic Movement has been granted access to the Constitutional Court over their calls for the secret ballot to be used in the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

This, however, means the motion might have to be postponed as the parties wishing to oppose the application have until 12:00 on Thursday to do so, and the applicant has to file his reply by 16:00 on Wednesday, 19 April.

The motion is due to be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday, April 18.

In the directive issued on Tuesday, the chief justice said the parties had to file their written submissions by 16:00 on Friday, April 21.

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete announced on Wednesday that a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be held on April 18, following several letters from opposition parties.

“After this announcement, on April 6, the Speaker received a letter of demand from attorneys representing the UDM for a vote of no confidence in the president to be done by a way of a secret ballot,” a Parliament statement said on Monday.

“Voting procedures in the assembly are determined by the Constitution and the rules of the assembly.

“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.”

On Tuesday, the UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, confirmed that the Constitutional Court has agreed to hear the application.

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 continued.

The court ruled that there was no implied or express constitutional requirement for voting by secret ballot in motions of no confidence in the president.