CAPE TOWN. – South African political parties and MPs had until yesterday to submit reasons for and against the use of a secret ballot to Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete in the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
Mbete two weeks ago scheduled the Democratic Alliance’s request for a motion of no confidence in President Zuma for the first week of August, following the Constitutional Court order that she has the power to decide on a secret ballot.
She requested that all parties take advantage of the National Assembly rules and register their viewpoints on a secret ballot formally by July 14.
Her decision will be taken thereafter, after considering all viewpoints and all factors, to come to a “well-informed and logical decision”.
Opposition parties held a joint press conference on Thursday in Pretoria to say they did not want Mbete to preside over the debate. The parties represented were the ACDP, APC, COPE, DA, EFF, IFP and the UDM.
“We note her instructions to the ANC MPs to vote in favour of their president; the Speaker is patently biased and therefore compromised,” a joint statement read out of by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said.
“She cannot preside over the debate. To add to this, Ms Mbete will act as president in the event of the success of the no-confidence-vote which makes her even more conflicted.”
The parties also called on all South Africans to converge in Cape Town and march to Parliament in support of their call to remove the “incompetent president at the helm”.
“Those who are not able to make it to Cape Town must engage in activities in their villages, townships and towns.”
They also criticised Mbete for accusations she made that certain judges are biased against the ANC.
Her comments undermined her duty to act as a liaison between Parliament and the other arms of State, and was failing to separate her role as head of the National Assembly and ANC national chairperson. The parties would express their viewpoints in their submissions.
“However, we reinforce the ruling that it is within her discretion to make a determination. We hope that for once, she will be impartial and take a decision for the benefit of South Africa.”
Acting ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli told News24 yesterday the party would also submit its recommendation to the Speaker before the end of business yesterday.
Their submission would not be different to the stance chief whip Jackson Mthembu took, following the Constitutional Court’s order on June 22, she said. They will support whichever decision the Speaker takes, confident in the fact that either way, the motion of no confidence will be defeated.
The motion will take place on Tuesday, August 8. – News24.