Deadline looms for UDM in secret ballot application

The UDM has until the close of business on Wednesday to file responding papers in its Constitutional Court application for a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

FILE: United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has until the close of business on Wednesday to file responding papers its Constitutional Court application for a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete filed their responses to the opposition party's application last week.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has also filed a supporting affidavit.

The vote was due to take place on Tuesday, 18 April, but was postponed last week due to the UDM's legal action.

In court papers, Mbete says the UDM's case has no merit and is based on an assumption that African National Congress Members of Parliament are unprincipled and spineless.

She says it's also not in her power to allow a secret vote and the Constitution does not allow for it.

The president has argued it's highly speculative of the UDM to suggest ANC MPs are being intimidated not to vote against him.

The IFP is supporting the UDM's application, saying the National Assembly votes in secret to elect the president and should therefore also have a secret ballot when voting on a motion of no confidence.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)