IFP backs UDM’s court bid for secret ballot in no confidence motion

The motion was to be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday, but it was postponed last week to allow the court process to unfold.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PARLIAMENT - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have thrown their weight behind the United Democratic Movement (UDM)’s Constitutional Court application for a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

The parties have filed supporting affidavits in the matter.

The motion was to be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday, but it was postponed last week to allow the court process to unfold.

In an affidavit, the IFP alleges in recent years its attempts to have the issue of a secret ballot on votes of no confidence placed on the agenda of Parliament’s Rules Committee have been ignored.

The party now wants the Constitutional Court to declare that the Speaker, Baleka Mbete, does not enjoy the discretion to determine whether or not such votes should be held in secret.

The IFP argues since the vote on the appointment of a president is held in secret, so too should one on his or her removal.

It says the Speaker is interpreting the rules of the house incorrectly and believes she has the power to allow a secret vote.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)