OPINION

ConCourt respected separation of powers – SACP

Party welcomes judgment, agrees that Speaker must weigh up all factors when making her decision

Constitutional court judgement on voting by secret ballot on the proposed vote of no-confidence in the President

22 June 2017

The SACP notes and welcomes the Constitutional Court decision today on the proposed vote of no-confidence in the President. In the first place, the Court clearly ruled that the Speaker does have the powers to decide on whether such a vote should be by secret or open ballot. In so doing, the Court correctly respected the important constitutional principle of the separation of powers.

However, the Court went further in reminding MPs (all MPs regardless of their political party) that their oath of office is to the people of South Africa and not to a political party. Furthermore, the Court called on the Speaker in making a decision on the matter to rationally weigh up all factors, including the danger of money and of a climate of threats and intimidation coming into play.

These latter concerns are not without merit. Although not in the context of a parliamentary vote, the SACP over the past few years has consistently raised concerns over a climate of intolerance and even of physical violence directed at SACP members by those purporting to be from the ranks of the ANC and its affiliated structures.

Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson, SACP, 22 June 2017