National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced on Monday afternoon that the voting procedure to be followed during Tuesday’s motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be through a secret ballot, leaving mixed reactions on social media.
“Having considered all the factors and mindful of the fact that this decision is not setting a precedent, I determine that voting on the motion of no confidence in the president on August 8, 2017 will be by secret ballot,” Mbete told a media briefing.
Mbete, coughing rather dramatically and drinking a glass of water before announcing her big decision, declared she would not take questions on the matter.
Taking to social media, EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi celebrated the announcement, saying conscience had prevailed and hoped the same would happen in parliament on Tuesday.
Ndlozi said it would have been “immoral” for Mbete if she had not allowed the secret ballot.
The people’s bae had been calling for ANC MPs to vote with their conscience and take out the president, though they also noted some would be afraid to do so as Zuma probably had “dirt” on them.
Ndlozi implied that “muthi” had been used to make sure Mbete does not decide on secret ballot today. It was evident in her cough just before she made the announcement, he argued.
When Baleka Mbete coughed it was Muthi, but there is not Muthi formed against Conscience that shall prosper #SecretBallot
— #RegisterToVoteEFF (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) August 7, 2017
“When Baleka Mbete coughed it was Muthi, but there is not Muthi formed against conscience that shall prosper #SecretBallot,” he said.
The DA also celebrated the announcement, saying the secret ballot was an opportunity for ANC MPs to do the right thing and put South Africa first.
The UDM’s Bantu Holomisa, who brought the successful court challenge, said: “We hope that all 400 members [there are currently only 398 living ones, however] of the National Assembly will put South Africa first and vote in favour of the motion. We must also stress that tomorrow’s vote is not about a regime change but about saving South Africa from an irredeemably compromised President.
“Any Member who is threatened, either by his/her party or any other person, is now protected both in terms of the voting method and in law.”
Saftu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi wrote: “The man who declared stress is [a white] thing will have sleepless night! A film of all victims of reckless reshuffles will play #SecretBallot.”
Some on social media have, however, argued that the vote will not succeed, as ANC MPs will not vote against the president.