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Holomisa: Khoza, Mbeki comments show 'impossible & untenable' position of MPs

The UDM wants a motion of no confidence which was due to be debated on Tuesday to be held by secret ballot.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa Parliament during the State of the Nation Debate on 17 February 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says President Jacob Zuma is abusing his office by trying to stop a vote of no confidence in him being held in secret.

Responding to arguments submitted to the Constitutional Court last week, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says the issue of party discipline seems to be the main reason for Zuma's opposition to the case.

The UDM wants a motion of no confidence, which was due to be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday, to be held by secret ballot.

The Inkatha Freedom Party and Economic Freedom Fighters have both filed supporting affidavits to the court, in support of the case.

In a responding affidavit filed with the Constitutional Court, Holomisa says a Facebook post by African National Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Makhosi Khoza and an opinion piece penned by former President Thabo Mbeki confirm that MPs will be placed in an "impossible and untenable" position if the vote on a debate of no confidence is not held in secret.

Both pieces, which referred to the dilemma of voting with one's conscience rather toeing the party line, were written after the UDM launched its case.

Holomisa says President Zuma is using the policies and procedures of the ANC for self-serving intimidation, and he's once again impressed on the court, that the matter must be heard as a matter of urgency.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)