Modise to comment on ATM’s secret ballot court bid in due course, says Parly

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) went to court on Thursday morning to have the Speaker’s decision not to allow a secret ballot reviewed and set aside.

FILE: The Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has received a letter from the African Transformation Movement (ATM) asking that its motion of no confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa be postponed until 2021.

The motion was to have been debated and voted on later on Thursday. But the ATM went to court in the morning to have the speaker’s decision not to allow a secret ballot reviewed and set aside.

ALSO READ: Secret ballot will allow MPs from to vote according to conscience - ATM

The court hearing was set down for 3 and 4 February next year.

“The Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, has received a letter from the ATM asking that the motion they had sponsored, which was due for consideration of the National Assembly this afternoon, be postponed,” said Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

“The Speaker has received that request and she will make her comments in due course,” he added.

The ATM had argued that Modise acted irrationally and with bias when she turned down the party’s repeated requests for a secret vote, saying ATM failed to make a proper case for when this would be necessary.

The party claimed that MPs should be allowed to vote with their consciences rather than the dictate of their parties.

ALSO READ: Support for ATM’s Ramaphosa no-confidence motion looking thin

The party would now have more time to lobby for support of its motion, which as of Wednesday appeared to be minimal, with a number of opposition parties saying they would not back it, while the ANC said it was standing by to defeat the motion whatever the court decided next year.

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