Zupta endgame? Baleka Mbete surprises with secret ballot decision

JOHANNESBURG — When Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete started her press conference on Monday afternoon, it looked as if she was about to seriously play a partisan role. She refused to answer questions from media, sparking protestation from one journalist. She then began her announcement, but the end result has come as a complete surprise as she announced a secret ballot for the motion of no-confidence on August 8. The decision is set to create potential shockwaves in South Africa’s political landscape as it opens the door for Zuma to be out of power by the end of tomorrow. Of course, this is still a long shot, but the rand is already preparing for something potentially massive as it started strengthening strongly, approaching the R13.20 mark to the greenback shortly after the announcement. Hope springs. – Gareth van Zyl

Read more: Dummies’ guide to voting on the Zuma No-Confidence Motion

Read more: Named and shamed: MPs who backed Zuma in previous no-confidence vote

Zuma motion of no confidence will be done through a secret ballot

By Austil Mathebula, News24

Cape Town – The National Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete has announced that the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be done through a secret ballot on Tuesday.

This comes after opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and United Democratic Movement, made numerous unsuccessful calls for the speaker to announce her decision in advance so to allow them enough time to deliberate on a way forward.

From requesting a meeting with the speaker to giving her an ultimatum, the DA demanded that she make her decision on the secret ballot by 09:00 on Saturday – this, also, to no avail.

Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete.

Mbete only announced on Sunday evening that she’d make her decision public on Monday afternoon, just a day before the sitting.

Meanwhile, in an interview with News24 in July, EFF leader Julius Malema threatened that, should Mbete’s decision be that the motion will be held through an open vote, the party would take the matter to court immediately.

The EFF also accused Mbete of deliberately delaying the announcement of her decision so opposition parties would not have insufficient time to legally respond to the decision.

“We’ll take her to court. She has to give rational reasons.

“Papers are ready. The day she says ‘it’s open’ [vote]; when she gives us that letter, we are not going to read the whole thing, we’ll read the conclusion. We are going to exchange the letters.

“We know she’s going to do it just on the eve. That’s how criminal they are. If they believed in what they were saying; if they believe their decisions were rational – let them give us reasons way in advance.

“But because they are thugs, they run the state like a mafia state. They are going to give us reasons on the eve, hoping that we won’t rush to court.”

Mbete said in June that the decision on whether or not to use a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence must be rational, and therefore required careful consideration.

She also said the Constitutional Court had not given her a date by which she had to make her decision known.

The Constitutional Court ruled in June that Mbete does has the constitutional power to decide whether or not to hold a secret ballot during the motion, and must make a “rational” decision on whether or not to allow MPs to vote by secret ballot.

Delivering his judgment, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said: “There must always be proper and rational basis for whatever choice the speaker makes in the exercise of the constitutional power to determine the voting procedure.”

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/breaking-zuma-motion-of-no-confidence-to-be-done-through-a-secret-ballot-20170807

Rand rallies on surprise secret vote call on Zuma

By Liesl Peyper, Fin24

Cape Town – The rand rallied to under R13.20 to the US dollar after Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete announced that the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be done by secret ballot.

The unit was trading at R13.38 against the greenback shortly before the surprise announcement.

By 15:46 the unit was trading 1.8% firmer from its previous close at R13.19/$ after reaching R13.18.

Mbete, who did not allow follow-up questions at a media briefing on Monday afternoon, said her decision is by no means a precedent for the way in which voting will take place in Parliament in future, but that she had to take a number of factors into account in making the decision.

Mixed denomination rand currency banknotes are arranged for a photograph at a First National Bank (FNB) branch in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

A minimum of 50 ANC MPs of the total number of 400 National Assembly members will need to vote against the president for a no confidence motion to be successful.

It will be the ninth motion of no confidence since Zuma became president in 2009.

The previous motions were among other things as a result of exorbitant security upgrades to Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla, his firing of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and his closeness with the Gupta family. The President easily survived all these motions as ANC MPs toed the party line.

The ANC’s national executive committee ordered its members of Parliament to vote to keep Zuma as president of the country. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action against those who don’t adhere to the instruction.

Analyst said on Monday the no confidence vote against Zuma and the ratings review by Moody’s could make it a watershed week for the rand.

“This could be a watershed week for the rand with the possibility of two-way trading being very high,” TreasuryOne explained, while Rand Merchant Bank analyst Isaah Mhlanga said “this week we have our own moment of reckoning”.


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