The case brought by United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa in the Constitutional Court to have speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete allow a secret ballot when MPs vote on the no confidence motion in President Jacob Zuma was being heard on Monday.
Holomisa’s court bid comes after the president’s Cabinet reshuffle in March, which saw then finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his then deputy Mcebisi Jonas being sacked.
The speaker has previously argued that the rules of parliament did not provide for a secret ballot, though legal experts have disputed this. Parliament has delayed setting a date on the motion pending the outcome of today’s bid.
Arguing for the UDM, advocate Dali Mpofu said rule 104 of parliament could not be read any other way than to permit a secret ballot. He said the aim of the ballot was to protect individuals and the outcomes of the election.
However, Twitter was really not impressed with Mpofu’s arguments, saying he would cost the country a one-time opportunity to have the president removed.
“Advocate Dali Mpofu digging himself a long deep abyss he seemingly will bury himself in. He is uncomfortably cornered,” said one user.
Check out some of the reactions on Twitter:
Meanwhile, political parties, led by Julius Malema and Mmusi Maimane, have embarked on a march from Mary Fitzgerald to the Constitutional Court.