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EFF pleads with ConCourt to help MPs fulfil their oaths of office

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi says a contested motion of no confidence against Zuma can't take place effectively unless through a secret ballot.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema leaves the Constitutional Court on 30 March 2017 after filing an application to order the Speaker of Parliament to institute impeachment or disciplinary proceedings against President Jacob Zuma for conduct associated with the Nkandla scandal. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has told the Constitutional Court that it simply wants Members of Parliament (MPs) to fulfil their oaths of office even if doing so contradicts the wishes of their parties.

The red berets made submissions in the ConCourt earlier today in the United Democratic Movement's case arguing that MPs are entitled to vote according to conscience.

The UDM wants the court to give Parliament the green light to vote on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in secret, but National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has argued that the rules of Parliament do not provide for a secret ballot.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi says a contested motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma cannot take place effectively unless it’s held through a secret ballot.

“The most practical way of holding the executive accountable is a secret ballot.”

He says MPs including those from the ANC are required to act according to their constitutional obligations.

“We know it to be a matter of Constitutional principle for every member in the National assembly regardless of the wishes of their political party may vote on any topic according to their personal conscience.”

The party says the Speaker is mistaken in saying she has no discretion to allow a secret ballot because the combined effect of parliamentary rules 102 and 103 empower her to determine the manner of voting.

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