Secret ballot is unlikely‚ says Holomisa

04 August 2017 - 15:54 By Neo Goba
UDM president Bantu Holomisa
UDM president Bantu Holomisa
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Mary-Ann Palmer

There are slim chances that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete will grant a secret ballot vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma as the country's leader.

This is according to the leader of the United Democratic Movement‚ Bantu Holomisa‚ who says if the secret ballot is allowed it would create divisions in the African National Congress.

"It would be a decision taken by the ANC leadership to say delay as much as you can up until December conference and because if she were to grant it now and Zuma is removed‚ some ANC members would say they are going to have problems in managing this transitional period but she cannot state that in writing‚" said Holomisa told the Cape Town Press Clun on Friday afternoon.

His remarks come as Mbete is yet to rule whether the vote will take place via a secret ballot or not.

Holomisa said he will not be surprised if Mbete does not grant a secret ballot vote because she would be defying the ANC caucus by exposing party muddles into the public domain.

"She will have to tell us reasons which are in line with our Constitution why is she saying so‚ but I don’t think she can cite the issues of divisions within the ANC‚ that will not be acceptable. Well if I was a member of the ANC in leadership‚ I would take Tuesday seriously because it's going to be different compared to other votes of no confidence debate against Zuma. But the choice would be theirs whether they want to be on the sides of South Africans or they are still obsessed with protecting Zuma and his Guptas‚" added Holomisa.

On Tuesday‚ three protest marches will take place ahead of the planned motion of no confidence against Zuma. Two of the marches will be calling for Zuma to go while the Dulla Omar region of the ANC in Western Cape will be in support of the president.

Holomisa is convinced that the marches will send a clear message to the ANC caucus on the impact this may have in the 2019 national elections‚ if they do not vote against Zuma.

"Next week's march will be symbolic enough to serve as a warning to those MPs who will be voting in the afternoon to say 'You are here because of us and we are now saying take an action because if you don’t do so‚ you do so at your own peril because our votes are not guaranteed for 2019'‚" he said.

He said they will wait for Mbete to make a decision ahead of Tuesday and then they will analyse her reasons why she would want the vote of no confidence to be done secretly or openly and upon receiving that decision from her office‚ they will take a resolution.

"The worst case scenario is where we would say we are not satisfied with the rationality applied by the Speaker on this issue therefore we are going to consider the possibility of a judicial review. It would be wise to talk about urgent applications because it's not urgent‚ it's been here for eight years." he added.

The UDM has been leading the charge for the secret ballot after they filed the application in May. The Constitutional Court ruled that it was up to Mbete to decide for or against a secret ballot‚ even though she had previously argued that she had no such authority.