SPEAKER LEAVES DECISION ON SECRET BALLOT IN VOTE ON NO CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST ZUMA TO LAST MINUTE

CAPE TOWN, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is expected to finally announce the method of voting in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma on Monday, just a day before the debate on the motion takes place.

Tuesday will be D-Day for President Zuma as he faces an eighth motion of no confidence. Unlike the previous motions, however, conditions are different this time around as his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party is facing an internal rebellion. Some ANC MPs have expressed support for the motion to remove the President.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu told a media briefing on Friday that ANC MPs, as persons deployed by the party to represent the people, cannot remove a sitting President.

The challenge to keeping President Zuma in office is whether to vote openly or by secret ballot. In late June, the Constitutional Court, the country's highest court, ruled that the Speaker has the power to decide on allowing voting by secret ballot.

Political parties have also made written submissions to motivate on the method of voting but the Speaker has left her decision to the eleventh hour. Political analyst Richard Calland says Mbete putting her decision to the very last minute has put everybody under pressure.

Opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has already indicated that if the Speaker declines a secret ballot, it will head to court to challenge such a decision.

Calland says if the EFF proceeded with the court interdict, it is likely to be successful. I would think that the interdict would succeed because the Constitutional Court made it pretty clear that the decision she (Mbete) makes has to be a rational decision and there's quite a lot of evidence now of MP's who are publicly expressing concern about being intimidated.

Outside the political space, civil society is preparing to march to Parliament on Monday to demand that lawmakers vote with their conscience. Among those who are expected to support the anti-State Capture march is former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

On Tuesday morning, members of opposition parties will march to Parliament to support the motion. The ANC is also preparing to march to Parliament later in the morning.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety, Security and Social Services JP Smith says they have tried to ensure that the marches are peaceful. We've tried to schedule the marches with intermissions in-between so that the marchers don't cross each other's paths.

The City of Cape Town says it will monitor all marchers via CCTV cameras as well as drones in order to respond to any eventuality.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK