Jacob Zuma no-confidence vote to be secret

Posted August 08, 2017

The local market was awaiting the decision by the speaker of Parliament‚ Baleka Mbete‚ on whether a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma would be conducted via a secret vote.

Meanwhile, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) yesterday called for an open vote during the National Assembly debate on a motion of no confidence in President Zuma.

In a new development, South African opposition party Democratic Alliance, DA, also urged ruling party lawmakers to vote Zuma out after parliamentary speaker allowed a secret ballot on a no-confidence vote. One wonders if it's a risk Mbete is willing to take, given that a successful vote will make her Caretaker President until either parliament or, indirectly the electorate, chooses a permanent new incumbent.

A secret vote increases the chances of Zuma's ouster because members of the ruling party can vote him out without risking losing their jobs.

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The Constitutional Court earlier ruled in favour of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), stating the decision on whether a no confidence ballot can be cast in secret or not lies with the Speaker of the National Assembly. The secret ballot is an opportunity to put country above party, vote out corruption, and put South Africa on the right path. "This is in the best interest of the country", Mbete said.

"What is different and hopeful this time around is that we have ANC MPs speaking out, saying they will vote with the opposition".

The ANC has insisted it was never against a secret ballot taking place because it was confident the motion would not be supported by enough ANC MPs to carry it.

"You would create a crisis of unimaginable proportions", Jackson Mthembu, the ANC's chief whip in parliament, told reporters in Cape Town on August 4.

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In recent weeks, two ANC lawmakers who publicly said they meant to vote against Zuma were quickly censured by the party.

On Friday, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said voting to remove Zuma would not only "collapse government", but also cause "enormous fracturing" in the party and be tantamount to throwing "a nuclear bomb" on South Africa.

Parliament will vote on the motion on Tuesday and if it succeeds, Zuma, in power since 2009, and his entire cabinet would have to step down.

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