A vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma through a secret ballot “is receiving consideration,” South African Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete said on Friday.
In terms of National Assembly rules, once a motion of no confidence is requested, the Speaker must accord such motion due priority and before scheduling, it must consult with the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Mbete said.
“The motion of no confidence must be scheduled, debated and voted on within a reasonable period of time, given the program of the Assembly,” she said.
Mbete said she has undertaken the consultation as required by the rules and the decision is for the motion of no confidence to be scheduled for August 3.
Mbete was responding to a request from opposition parties that their motion of no confidence in Zuma be scheduled at the earliest convenience.
The motion, initially submitted on March 30 and scheduled for April 18, was postponed indefinitely at the request of opposition parties, pending a court application to force a secret ballot in the hope that ruling African National Congress (ANC) MPs would be encouraged to vote against Zuma.
The Constitutional Court ruled on June 22 that Mbete is empowered to decide whether a vote of no confidence in Zuma should be conducted by secret ballot.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has asked to meet with Mbete to discuss the matter of a secret ballot.
“Mindful that the powers to make a determination regarding voting procedures solely rest with the Speaker, as clarified by the Constitutional Court, the Speaker has invited interested parties to submit their views regarding their preferred means of voting on this particular motion,” Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.
The views of the parties, considered together with a host of other factors, including the prevailing conditions, would assist the Speaker to arrive at a well-informed and logical decision, said Mothapo.
Several votes of no confidence against Zuma have failed in Parliament dominated by ANC MPs.
Opposition parties fielded another vote of no confidence against Zuma in April after Zuma reshuffled the cabinet, sacking Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and other ministers. Enditem