DA: Baleka Mbete’s silence on secret ballot reckless

There is only one week to go before Parliament votes on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.  Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - With one week to go before Parliament is due to vote on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it’s reckless for National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete not to have yet announced her decision on a secret ballot.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen believes she will play her cards close to her chest until next Tuesday.

“What she wants and what her strategy is; she's hoping that the House will descend into chaos and in this chaos, President Zuma will escape accountability. This strategy by Mbete is reckless and prejudicial to the institution of Parliament.”

The party says while in principle it does not support secret ballots, in this situation, it would be appropriate.

“We can only reasonably infer from this behaviour that other African National Congress MPs who vote with their conscious will be subject to punitive action, threatening their livelihood or even worse.”

Steenhuisen has not ruled out retrospective legal action against the Speaker if an open vote is held on the motion.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)