The African Transformation Movement’s (ATM) motion of no confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa will be voted on by open ballot next week, Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise decided.
On Thursday morning, at a meeting of the National Assembly Programming Committee, the secretary to parliament, Masibulele Xaso, said Modise had approved the ATM’s motion of no confidence in the president – and she suggested that it be placed on the National Assembly’s programme for next Thursday’s plenary.
In a statement, later on Thursday, parliament confirmed the motion had been scheduled.
“The motion is scheduled in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution, which provides that, if the NA, by a vote supported by a majority of its members, passes a motion of no confidence in the president, the president and other members of the Cabinet and any deputy ministers must resign,” reads the statement from parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
“In terms of the Rules of the Assembly, the Speaker, after proper consultation and once she’s satisfied that the proposed motion is compliant, must schedule it for debate and voting within a reasonable period of time, given the programme of the House.”
The motion will be debated and then voted on in a hybrid sitting of the House by means of an open ballot.
Modise declined the ATM’s request to have the motion voted on by way of a secret ballot.
“Section 1(d) of the Constitution sets ‘openness’ as a fundamental principle for our democracy. The Constitution also instructs the NA to conduct its business in an open manner,” said Mothapo.
“The Constitutional Court has indicated that a secret ballot becomes necessary, where the prevailing atmosphere is toxified or highly charged. The Speaker found that the ATM had not offered any evidence of a highly charged atmosphere or intimidation of any members in the motivation for their request.”
The last motion of no confidence brought against corruption-accused former president Jacob Zuma in August 2017 was voted for in a secret ballot.
Some 30-odd ANC MPs broke ranks and voted in favour of the motion, but this was not enough to dislodge Zuma.
The ATM lodged their motion with Modise in February, with 15 reasons why they think Ramaphosa should be removed.