SA Secret Ballot Hearing: Oppositions March to ConCourt Ahead of #SecretBallot Ruling


Opposition parties will on Monday, march to the Constitutional Court for a final hearing of the SA secret ballot system expected to be used in firing President Jacob Zuma.

The judiciary will by this week, play a role in deciding Zuma’s fate as they look into the application by the (UDM) for a secret ballot for a parliamentary vote of no confidence in Zuma.

The leader of the United Democratic Movement Bantu Holomisa who made the application following the debate on whether or not the parliament will go ahead with the SA secret ballot in a motion of no confidence against the president Jacob Zuma.

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The request receives a strong backup from opposition parties who believe it would protect those mainly the ruling party who no longer believe in Zuma’s leadership.

The debate on the matter got intense after former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was fired during Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle. The Democratic Alliance was prompted to support the move after this event.

The no-confidence debate was later postponed by Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete pending the application before the ConCourt. The speaker earlier insisted that the application had no merit but she later noted that she had no authority or discretion to agree to the applicant’s request.

At the Concourt this Monday, senior counsels for the different respondents including the UDM, speaker of parliament, the president, several political parties and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution will be arguing over the implications and constitutionality of a secret ballot.

South Africans have been urged ahead of the court hearing, to show a united front by marching to the Constitutional Court on Monday, where the case involving the vote of no confidence in Zuma will be heard.

“The Constitutional Court is the last line of defence for citizens when betrayed by those who wield political power. We believe that President Zuma’s continued stay in office poses a major threat to constitutionalism in South Africa. It threatens to weaken our economy, to impoverish millions of our people, and further to corrupt and ultimately collapse our state. This negative trend can and must be reversed!”

While Zuma and Mbete fight the UDM application in court, other opposition parties like the African Christian Democratic Party joins the UDM to say that Zuma was elected as president through the SA secret ballot and should, therefore, go out in the same way.

Other parties involved in this debate include African Independent Congress, African People’s Convention, Congress of the People, Agang SA, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party and the United Democratic Movement, together with the Freedom Movement and SaveSA.

“We are not happy with the direction this country is taking,” says  ACD’s Kenneth Meshoe

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says the country has a duty to hold the president to account.

“We pay your salary and voted for you. Put the interest of your party first before the interest of your party or bosses.”

Opposition parties and their supporters will gather at Mary Fitzgerald Square on Monday at 8am before heading to the Constitutional Court to support the SA secret ballot bid.

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Many ANC MPs have, however, insisted on not supporting opposition parties in the vote to remove the president, but opposition parties believe that if the vote were to be held in secret, some ANC members would “vote with their conscience”.

Civil society organisations have indicated their support for the move as they plan to march to the Constitutional Court and protest on Monday.

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