The African Transformation Movement (ATM) will be before the Western Cape High Court on Monday, in a bid to have the motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa, held through secret ballot.
In February, the Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula declined their request to have the vote held via secret ballot. The party says the Speaker erred in her decision, and they want the court to set that decision aside.
ATM president Vuyo Zungula says previous court decisions show that members of parliament have to be protected from potential abuse by their parties in order to vote with their conscience.
“The current method of voting chief whip will stand and say I’m representing party A, there’s so many of us in the house, and we are voting in this way. That on its own is a breach of the rules of parliament. If the chief whip says we are as a party, voting in this particular manner, then it means, it’s no longer members of parliament voting individually, and in accordance with their conscience,” says Zungula.
ATM heads to court to have the motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa held via secret ballot
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has requested for the motion of no confidence in the entire cabinet.
Mapisa-Nqakula defended that her decision not to have an open ballot is based on the legal opinion she received prior to making up her mind.
Freedom Front Plus Member of Parliament Corner Mulder questioned Mapisa-Nqakula in a bid to get clarity. “Speaker, I have raised my hand, I just want to make sure if you say the vote will be open it means it won’t be a secret ballot? And secondly, you are also saying the whips will pronounce on behalf of members and members will not pronounce openly themselves in terms of the way they vote?
“My understanding has always been that if we vote, the Whips will pronounce on the votes. However, if there is anyone who wants to vote differently from the position of their parties, members will be free to do so.”
No secret ballot in the vote of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet: