EFF leader Julius Malema has argued in court papers before the Constitutional Court that several ANC MPs he’s spoken to have expressed their desire to have the vote no-confidence motion in President Jacob Zuma to be conducted through a secret ballot, TimesLIVE reports.
“Many ANC MPs I have spoken to have said they would like the matter to be dealt with on a secret-ballot basis to enable them to express their opinions freely,” Malema said.
The red berets and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) filed papers on Tuesday at the superior court in support of the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) application for a secret ballot in the pending motion of no confidence against Zuma.
Malema argued it was a constitutional obligation for the vote to be held in secret.
He said one of the functions of the National Assembly, as outlined in the constitution in section 86(2), “specifically obliges a secret ballot in the event of two or more candidates being nominated”.
“There is no unanimity on whether President Zuma should remain as president or not. It is a highly contested question.
“It is thus a scenario comparable with that envisaged in a contested election of the president,” Malema’s affidavit said.
The EFF leader cited a Facebook post by ANC MP Makhosi Khoza in which she outlined the dilemma faced by the governing party’s MPs regarding the no confidence vote.
Khoza’s post showed that the party’s MPs believed they were being compelled to toe the party line by siding with the “injudicious leadership” of the ANC instead of acting as elected public representatives serving in parliament, Malema said.
He also urged that the National Assembly has the power to remove the president from office as provided for in the constitution, but it does not make definite statements about secret balloting.
“Power of the appointment of the president includes the power of his removal,” and the same procedure was applicable, he said.
Both the EFF and the IFP have been cited as respondents in the UDM’s case.
The UDM is expected to file its response to the court today after Zuma and speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete filed their papers last week asking the ConCourt to dismiss its application.