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AfriBusiness: Constitutional Court’s decision shifts responsibility to the speaker

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AfriBusiness: Constitutional Court’s decision shifts responsibility to the speaker

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22nd June 2017

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The business rights watchdog AfriBusiness welcomes the Constitutional Court’s decision that the speaker of Parliament has the power to allow for a vote via secret ballot on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

The judgement is however only mildly effective as it merely shifts responsibility on deciding on a secret vote over to Baleka Mbete, Speaker of Parliament, who is well known for her favour towards Zuma.

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This will effectively mean that, although she has the power to decide on a secret ballot, the likelihood of her finding in favour of this is nearly zero.

“Members of Parliament should be afforded the opportunity to represent the people of South Africa without fear, favour or prejudice. Although the judgment creates the foundation for this to be possible, the chances of it being implemented in practise under the current regime is extremely unlikely.

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The only way to have members of Parliament vote according to their conscience and without undue influence or intimidation from within their own ranks, would be through a secret ballot,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.

The order also entails that the speaker should make a “fresh decision” on the matter of a secret ballot and a motion of no confidence in the president. Furthermore, the court also ordered the president and speaker to pay the costs of the UDM, DA and EFF in the proceedings.

 

Issued by AfriBusiness

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