#SecretBallot call could be Baleka Mbete's toughest political decision

Last week the Constitutional Court affirmed Mbete's legal authority to decide on whether to hold a secret ballot or not in the vote of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

Political analysts, Prince Mashele and Ebrahim Fakir interrogate which decision National Speaker, Baleka Mbete should take.

Placing himself in Mbete's position, Mashele says he would exercise his discretion by calling for a secret vote. Mashele suggests that opting for a secret vote, Mbete stands to redeem her character and reputation. He says if she chooses an open vote, Mbete risks going down in history as someone who doesn't hold the interests of South Africans at heart.

Fakir strongly disagrees with Mashele.

Everything Prince says ought to be done and can be done with an open ballot. There is nothing precluding in an open ballot for any MP whether of the governing party or otherwise from exercising their discretion firstly.

Ebrahim Fakir, political analyst

Also read: #SecretBallot: There are two necessary evils, choose the lesser evil - Matshiqi

Secondly, stating their discretion on their conscience. That is not precluded by an open ballot. What Prince is alluding to a fear of reprisal or the fear of consequences for people who are within the ANC to be able to vote openly.

Ebrahim Fakir, political analyst

Fakir explains that if members of the African National Congress (ANC) are fearful of their views opposing those their fellow party members then they should remove themselves from the party.

If any ANC members want President Zuma removed from the helm, then they should say and in this case, vote so, openly, he adds.

The way our Parliament works contradicts the values that are embodied in the Constitution.

Prince Mashele, Political analysts

Ebrahim Fakir is currently Manager of Governance Institutions and Processes at the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa (EISA). Prince Mashele is a South African political research expert and analyst.

Listen to full analysis in the clip below:


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