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Here are the 10 best quotes from the ConCourt judgment on secret ballot

22 June 2017 - 15:40 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivers the ConCourt Nkandla judgement. File photo.
Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivers the ConCourt Nkandla judgement. File photo.
Image: SABC Digital Youtube

Here are the 10 best quotes from the Constitutional Court ruling which found that the Speaker of National Assembly has the power to authorise a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

"Anybody‚ including Members of Parliament or of the Judiciary anywhere in the world‚ could be ‘bought’. When that happens in a motion of no confidence‚ the outcome could betray the people's best interest."

"Amandla awethu [the power is ours] and Mayibuye i Afrika [restore Africa and its wealth] are much more than mere excitement-generating slogans. They convey a very profound reality that State power‚ the land and its wealth all belong to ‘we the people’‚ united in our diversity."

"The President‚ deputy president‚ ministers and their deputies are...enjoined by the supreme law of the land to be accountable collectively and individually to parliament for the exercise of their powers and carrying out of the functions assigned to the executive but they are also required to act in line with the constitution."

"The Speaker of the National Assembly has the constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa he conducted by secret ballot."

"The power that vests in the Speaker to determine the voting procedure in a motion of no confidence‚ belongs to the people and must thus not be exercised arbitrarily or whimsically."

"Some Parliamentarians believe that time has come and have tabled a motion of no confidence in the president. They have‚ themselves invited this court to get involved and clarify the nature and extent of parliament's power."

"A motion of no confidence in the head of State and the head of the Executive‚ is a very important matter. Governance and public interest could at times haemorrhage quite profusely if that motion were to be left lingering on for a considerable period of time."

"The correct exercise of parliament's powers in relation to a motion of no confidence in the president must therefore have the effect of ensuring that the voting process is not a fear or money-inspired sham but a genuine motion for the effective enforcement of accountability."

"If the will of political parties were to always prevail‚ the constitution would probably have required political parties to determine which way they want to go on issues‚ and through their chief whips‚ signify support or opposition by submitting the list of members who would be present when voting takes place."

"...when a secret ballot is appropriate‚ is an eventuality that has not been expressly provided for and which then falls on the Speaker to determine. That is her judgement call to make‚ having due regard to what would be the best procedure to ensure that members exercise their oversight powers most effectively."

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