Now it’s the ANC wanting a secret ballot – to remove Joburg’s DA mayor

12 September 2017 - 18:36 By Penwell Dlamini
Johannesburg city. File photo.
Johannesburg city. File photo.

The African National Congress has swapped roles with the Democratic Alliance in the City of Johannesburg‚ with the former demanding a secret ballot while the latter won't hear of it.

The ANC‚ which fought tooth and nail with the DA in Parliament in an attempt to stop opposition parties from using the secret ballot in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma‚ now wants this system adopted to oust Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba and speaker of council Vasco Da Gama.

Late on Tuesday afternoon‚ the City of Johannesburg released a statement saying its main opposition‚ the ANC‚ was refusing to proceed with the motion of no confidence.

“Today the Programming Committee of the City of Johannesburg sat and has deemed the ANC’s motions of no confidence against the Executive Mayor and the Speaker inadmissible.

“The Committee considered the motions and determined that the resolutions pertaining to the call for a secret ballot were in conflict with the Standing Rules of Council. The Programming Committee confirmed that the first resolution of the motions of no confidence‚ which was to hold a vote of no confidence‚ were lawful and may proceed.

“The option was provided to the ANC to amend their motions in respect of resolutions that needed to be corrected to bring them in line with our Rules‚ but the ANC declined this opportunity.

“It must be understood that the Rules of Council in the City of Johannesburg make no provision for a secret ballot and require that votes are conducted in the open. Our Rules also do not afford the Speaker the authority to call for a secret ballot‚” the statement read.

It added: “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.”

The ANC spokesperson in Joburg‚ Jolidee Matongo‚ rejected the city’s statement arguing it is not true.

“That is pure lies. The ANC has not withdrawn the motion of no confidence. The ANC instead‚ insisted that the motion does meet the requirement of council. If you submit the motion it must meet the requirements of Rule 92 of the Standing Rule of Council which looks at the admissibility of the motion.

“The DA argued that there is nothing in the rules that says voting [on the motion] should be by secret ballot. We are saying that there is nothing in the rules that expressly says you can’t have a secret ballot. We did not withdraw the motion. We have said the motion meets the requirements of the rules‚” he said.