13 April 2017

South Africa: Secret Ballot? Eyes Turn to Early May and a New Date for Zuma No Confidence Motion

Photo: Ashraf Hendriks/GroundUp
President Jacob Zuma in Parliament (file photo).
analysis

The motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma is off, and will only be considered when MPs return to Parliament after the recess in early May. National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who is also ANC national chairperson, on Wednesday informed opposition parties of this decision following their request for a postponement. This came as the Constitutional Court indicated on Tuesday that it would hear arguments on the United Democratic Movement (UDM) application for a secret ballot in that no confidence debate brought under Section 102 of the Constitution. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

It was a curious about-face. On Wednesday morning the message clearly was that the DA and EFF, which brought the request for the motion of no confidence, would have to withdraw it. "Rule 128 of the National Assembly rules stipulates that withdrawals of motions may only be made by the Member of Parliament in whose name they were tabled," according to a statement by Parliament. By the end of the day, after a letter from DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, that had changed - and the motion of no confidence scheduled for Tuesday was postponed. "The postponement of the motion will be referred to the National Assembly programme...

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