CAPE TOWN, The Speaker of Parliamentm Baleka Mbete, says she will give effect to the Constitutional Court’s ruling on motions of no confidence in South African President Jacob Zuma being conducted by secret ballot.
The court ruled Thursday that Mbete does have discretionary powers to prescribe a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence. The Speaker and the president had opposed an application by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) party that it is up to Mbete to decide on a secret ballot.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says even the powers of the Speaker of Parliament belong to the people. Like her, MPs too, owe their allegiance to the Constitution and South Africa, not their parties.
The judgment found that Mbete was “mistaken” when she said she had no power to prescribe on a secret ballot. It declared invalid her April 6 decision to reject an application by the UDM to have the coming vote of no confidence in the president to be conducted by secret vote based on her understanding of the law.
The Constitutional Court ruling came just hours before the president appeared before Parliament. The UDM, which brought the main application, insists the court ruling as a victory although the court dismissed another order that they sought for the court to instruct the Speaker to conduct a secret ballot.
The Speaker and the president have been ordered to pay costs. It remains unclear how soon the motion of no confidence will be scheduled.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK