Mbete to reveal secret ballot decision

The Speaker of South Africa's parliament ruled on Monday that a motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma brought by opposition parties will be held through a secret ballot.

ANC MPs have been warned by the governing party to toe the party line when they cast their ballots in the eighth motion of no confidence against Zuma in the National Assembly.

"The speaker's decision was rationally seen in light of her arguments about the matter, and the FF Plus never thought there could be any other decision".

"What is different and hopeful this time around is that we have ANC MPs speaking out, saying they will vote with the opposition".

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party was not surprised by Mbete's decision and it supported it.

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"We have no doubt that this frivolous motion, which has been hyped up by opposition parties. will fail like many before it", Kodwa said in a statement. Fifty ANC lawmakers and all opposition legislators would have to back the no-confidence motion for it to pass - a move that would force Zuma and his entire cabinet to resign. "It's what Sotho people call kgomo ya moshate [damned if you do, damned if you don't]", she said.

Up to 30,000 anti-Zuma protesters are expected to take to the streets of Cape Town tomorrow ahead of the vote to pressure MPs to vote the ANC president out of office.

"This decision is an indication that the ANC is convinced that it has control over its members and that the party is therefore not afraid of a secret ballot". EFF Leader Julius Malema said that "we welcome the decision by the incoming acting president", in reference to the speaker becoming acting president if the motion succeeds. "Ultimately a secret ballot wouldn't have been offered unless Zuma was confident of wining", said Nomura emerging markets economist Peter Attard Montalto.

South Africa's rand steadied against the dollar early on Monday, as investors readied for a parliamentary no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma and economic data in the coming week. Her granting of the secret ballot today was the first step of presenting herself as the hero of South Africa's democracy. United Democratic Movement (UDM) president Bantu Holomisa said they will insist that the same procedure be followed as when a president is elected in the National Assembly.

  • Adam Floyd