Mbete doesn't have powers to grant voting through secret ballot - Parliament

Parliamentary spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, has denied reports that Parliament is planning to oppose a Constitutional Court application for a secret ballot vote on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

Mothapo says the the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, doesn't have the powers to grant or deny a secret ballot vote. It is up to the Constitutional Court to make that ruling.

The speaker therefore cannot say that she will allow or deny the voting through a secret ballot because she doesn't have such powers.

Moloto Mothapo, Parliamentary spokesperson

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has set the debate down for next Tuesday after requests from the opposition as part of widespread action sparked by Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle.

When asked whether MP's are allowed to vote according to their conscience , Mothapo said that is determined by individual members of Parliament and not the Speaker.

How members of Parliament vote it is up to them alone, what the Speaker cannot agree with is the situation where she is asked to act in the manner that is against the Constitution.

Moloto Mothapo, Parliamentary spokesperson

The Speaker doesn't have any personal interest in the matter. She is there to uphold the Constitution.

Moloto Mothapo, Parliamentary spokesperson

President of the United Democratic Movement, Bantu Holomisa says he is pleased to hear that Parliament will not be opposing the application.

All that we are asking here is that she applies her mind to the facts of the case and determines whether to grant the request for a secret ballot.

Bantu Holomisa, President of the United Democratic Movement

But I am happy now because she is not opposing it, she also needs guidance from the Constitutional Court.

Bantu Holomisa, President of the United Democratic Movement

To hear more of this conversation, please listen below:

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