Concourt reserves judgement regarding secret vote of no confidence in Zuma


Although the Constitutional Court heard the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM’s) attempt to allow members of parliament a secret vote in the upcoming motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, it has reserved judgment.

On 15 May, the court reserved judgment after hearing arguments from the UDM, other political parties’ legal representation and the respondent, the speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete.

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Parliament has delayed the date of the motion of no confidence pending the outcome of the court’s judgement.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the applicant, the UDM, said that the case is an important matter for South Africa’s democracy and all its citizens. “A secret ballot is required, permitted or prohibited. That is all that this matter is about,” Mpofu told the court.

Later in his final argument, Mpofu asked Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to imagine being a member of parliament and openly voting against the president. “Good luck to them,” Mogoeng said.

Mpofu said a secret ballot affords protection to members of parliament. He also argued that a debate before the vote would be fruitless if the party leaders have already decided the outcome. “In fact, the whole thing of having 400 MPs would be a joke. We should then just have 12 MPs weighted votes for the 12 political parties.”

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Various political party supporters gathered at Mary Fitzgerald Square on the morning of the Concourt appearance and made their way to the court in opposition to Zuma and in support of a secret ballot.

Various journalist, citizens and political parties responded on Twitter:

Edited by Stacey Woensdregt

Chantelle Fourie

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