EFF calls for secret ballot for Zuma no-confidence vote

The no-confidence vote was scheduled for 22 February after National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete refused an attempt by the EFF to have the vote before the State of the Nation Address on 8 February 2018.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is calling for a secret ballot in the no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma.

The vote was scheduled for 22 February after National Assembly Speaker [Baleka Mbete](http://Baleka Mbete) refused an attempt by the EFF to have the vote before the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on 8 February.

The EFF says the speaker's decision to have the motion of no confidence debate after Sona fails to comprehend the urgency of Zuma's removal.

The party says its call for a secret ballot is based on threats of violence associated with the previous no-confidence motion and Zuma's preference of an open vote, which the party views as intimidation.

The party also states the revelations contained in the Gupta emails and the surveillance of individuals including Members of Parliament as one of the reasons why a secret ballot is needed.

Finally, the EFF says the recent "hands off Zuma" campaign and the threat by those leading it that Zuma's removal could spark a civil war is another reason for a secret ballot.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “There are continued threats that are still being levelled against members of parliament and the most recent one is the threat of civil war from people who call themselves the “hands-off Zuma” campaign. People who vote differently, particularly in the ruling party benches could be victimised in one way or the other.”

The party says these and are sufficient grounds for a secret ballot to protect the integrity of the vote results.