Opposition parties said on Monday they were confident that the Constitutional Court will rule in their favour after arguing their case for a secret motion of no confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly.
The parties supported the application brought by fellow opposition party the United Democratic Movement (UDM).
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Narend Singh said his party’s argument was that it has written countless letters to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete asking her to schedule a secret vote in the motion of no confidence without luck.
“Now we are even more confident than we were in the morning. From 2012, the IFP has been pursuing this matter of a secret ballot, that if you vote someone in by secret ballot you can vote them out the same way. I think the court will rule in our favour,” Singh told reporters during an adjournment by the Constitutional Court.
A secret ballot would strengthen democracy and send a message to the governing party not to use their Parliament majority “to ride over what the people of this country want for their future”.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema the secret ballot was “more relevant now than ever before”.
“We came to the same court that pronounced how Parliament has failed to act consistently with the Constitution. Baleka Mbete’s refusal [to schedule secret vote] once more exposes her she does not have interests of this country at heart, she always prioritises her political party,” he said.
Malema added that there would be no need for impeachment should the parties get the secret vote nod. His party has applied to the Constitutional Court to have Mbete discipline Zuma over the Nkandla saga.
“If we get a secret ballot, there won’t be impeachment because Zuma will not be president, I can tell you that. If they say the secret ballot is permissible, there is an obligation on Parliament to sanction it. It is more relevant now than ever before. ANC MPs we spoke to said even if you do not get a secret ballot we will vote openly against Zuma… so imagine if we get the secret ballot,” he said.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said he felt vindicated after Mbete and Zuma’s counsels, Marumo Moerane and Ishmael Semenya, conceded that Mbete had an obligation to set the secret ballot motion.
The hearing brought to the fore the issue of separation of powers, and whether the highest court in the land had the prerogative to request Mbete to schedule a secret ballot against Zuma.
Organisations such as the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, the Unemployed People’s Movement, Institute for Security Studies and the Shosholoza Progressive Movement have joined the hearing as friends of the court.
Judgement was reserved.
– African News Agency (ANA)