No confidence vote: Zuma dismisses threats against ANC MPs as ‘speculation’

President Jacob Zuma is opposing the UDM’s Constitutional Court bid for a secret vote to be allowed when the debate takes place.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PARLIAMENT - President Jacob Zuma has dismissed as speculation threats against African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) who choose to vote in favour of the pending motion of no confidence against him.

Zuma is opposing the United Democratic Movement (UDM)’s Constitutional Court bid for a secret vote to be allowed when the debate takes place.

The president and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete filed their answering affidavits in the matter on Thursday.

Mbete says the UDM should have first tried to get the rules of Parliament changed to allow for a secret ballot.

Zuma says the UDM is asking the court to deny the ANC the benefits of its majority in Parliament because the motion of no confidence can’t succeed without the ruling party’s MPs support.

He says the list system means MPs must be loyal to their party.

Zuma has defended his Cabinet reshuffle as rational and the ratings downgrade that followed as based on speculations that economic policy would change.

In her papers Mbete says the UDM’s bid for a secret vote is grounded on the assumption that ANC MPs are “weak, timid, cowardly, unprincipled and spineless”.

Mbete says it’s not for the court to concern itself with political questions and that the UDM should have first tried to get Parliament’s rules changed to allow for a secret vote.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)