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Mbete waiting to hear from parties on secret ballot

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Mbete waiting to hear from parties on secret ballot

National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete

3rd July 2017

By: News24Wire

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Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete says she is waiting to hear from all political parties in Parliament before making a decision on whether or not to allow voting via a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

The motion has been scheduled for August 8, after an initial announcement that it would take place on August 3.

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Parliament announced on Sunday, however, that the initial date clashed with a cabinet lekgotla which had already been scheduled for that date.

In June, the Constitutional Court ruled that she had the discretion to determine, whether or not, a motion of no confidence in Zuma could be done through a secret ballot. The application was brought before the highest court in the land by the United Democratic Movement after she said she did not believe she had the powers to make such a decision.

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"I am still waiting to hear the views of different political parties. I wrote to them, to say, I just want to hear their views so I can take them into consideration as I am making the final decision," she said to journalists on the sidelines of the ANC’s [African National Congress'] 5th National Policy conference currently underway at Nasrec, Johannesburg.

When asked about juggling the pressures and implications of allowing a secret ballot, Mbete, who is also the ANC’s national chairperson, aligned her views with those already expressed by the ANC.

"It really is of no major material basis that technically the vote would be either secret or not because at the end of the day ANC MPS [members of parliament] know how to vote, they have done it seven times, this 8th time can’t be different," she said.

Mbete said she hoped all parties would get back to her by July 14.

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