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Baleka Mbete has failed in her duties as Speaker – UDM

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says the Speaker should use her discretion where the Constitution and the rules of the House are silent.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete in Parliament. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The United Democratic Movement (UDM) says National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has failed in her duties by not taking a decision on whether or not to allow a secret vote on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Responding to affidavits by Mbete and Zuma filed with the Constitutional Court, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says the Speaker should use her discretion where the Constitution and the rules of the House are silent.

All parties in the matter have until Friday to make written submissions to the court.

The UDM says Zuma's submission that his decision to reshuffle his Cabinet was lawful is not at issue.

But rather that his decision was "ill-judged, hasty and had extraordinarily negative and foreseeable economic consequences".

The party says, for this reason, the opposition wants to persuade Members of Parliament that the president should no longer enjoy their confidence.

The UDM argues that for them to give effect to their conscience, the vote must be held in secret.

The Inkatha Freedom Party and Economic Freedom Fighters have both filed affidavits supporting the UDM's case, while the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution has applied to join the matter as a friend of the court.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)