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"Secret ballot certainly 'permitted', and in current context it is 'required"

15 May 2017 6:00 PM
Law professor and political commentator Richard Calland says justices have been pressing counsel from both sides of the argument.

The ConCourt is hearing arguments on Monday on whether a secret ballot should be conducted when Parliamentarians vote on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma

The question before the court - Is a secret ballot prohibited, permitted, or required?

The day has progressed with numerous arguments for counsel for the various opposition parties.

Professor Richard Calland chats to John Maytham about the proceedings.

As is a member of Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac).

Our view is that it is certainly 'permitted', and in the circumstances of the current context, it is 'required'.

Prof Richard Calland, UCT Lw faculty and Casac member

We along with other parties in this very important litigation were urging the Court to make a constitutional interpretation that not only is Parliament entitled to say that there may be a secret ballot, but that they should declare that there is one.

Prof Richard Calland, UCT Law faculty and Casac member

It's a hard case, and there are good arguments in both directions.

Prof Richard Calland, UCT Law faculty and Casac member

The justices have been seen pressing all counsel from both sides of the argument, he says.

Read: Speaker has constitutional obligation to grant secret ballot, argues Dali Mpofu

Also Read: Secret Ballot: "Judges seemed unconvinced by Mpofu's arguments"

I have not made up my mind about which way they are going to go.

Prof Richard Calland, UCT Law faculty and Casac member

He says a judge may well be pressing counsel, not because he is against his or her argument, but rather to test his or her own thoughts and arguments.

There has been considerable skepticism today..and I think the Court can smell the mood in the country.

Prof Richard Calland, UCT Law faculty and Casac member

Take a listen:


15 May 2017 6:00 PM