The Democratic Alliance (DA) coalition-led City of Johannesburg on Tuesday rejected a request to conduct the vote of no confidence in Mayor Herman Mashaba via secret ballot, saying the request is in conflict with the council’s standing rules.
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, mayoral committee member for development planning Funzela Ngobeni said the city’s council rules make no provision for a secret ballot and require all votes to be open.
He said the council rules also do not afford the speaker the authority to call for a secret ballot.
“This stands in stark contrast to the rules of the National Assembly, cited in the recent Constitutional Court judgment, UDM v Speaker of the National Assembly and others, which do make provision for the Speaker to make such a determination.”
Ngobeni said the programming suggested the African National Congress (ANC) amend the motion to bring it in line with the council rules.
"We do not fear these motions, we welcome them as an opportunity to reaffirm the wishes of the residents of our city who demanded change during last year’s elections."
'An arrogant person'
ANC Johannesburg spokesperson Jolidee Matongo told News24 that the DA-led coalition should release transcripts of the city’s programming committee to the media to “expose the DA lies”.
He said the city's version of events is different to what ANC councillors experienced.
“There is nothing in the council rules that said voting in secret ballot is not allowed. It was done in Parliament and it can be done here."
Matongo said the ANC requested a secret ballot because they have “a lot of DA councillors” who want to vote in favour of the motion against Mashaba.
“They indicated that the mayor is an arrogant person who doesn’t listen to any other views… he runs the city as if it’s his business and not according to the DA’s manifesto.”
Matongo said there are no grounds to accusations that the party was trying to buy votes.
“A case [of bribery] against an ANC councillor was opened 14 months ago and since then no arrests were made. No prosecution, no nothing.”
In August a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma was conducted via secret ballot when the Constitutional Court ruled that the Speaker has the power to allow a secret vote.
Some 198 MPs voted against the Democratic Alliance's bid to remove Zuma, while 177 voted for Zuma to go.
Roughly 30 ANC MPs are believed to have voted for Zuma to be removed.