OPINION

Ruling places pressure on Speaker – Janine Myburgh

Cape Chamber says President was elected by a secret ballot and this surely set a precedent for secret ballot on his exit from leadership

Use of a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence against President Zuma

22 June 2017

THE Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the ruling by the Constitution Court which forces the Speaker of Parliament to consider the use of a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence against President Zuma.

“This will place tremendous pressure on the Speaker who will have to deal with some very strong arguments in favour of a secret ballot,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.

She noted that the Chief Justice had said that the voting process should not be a fear or money inspired sham. “Given the system of patronage that has grown under President Zuma and the way competent ministers have been fired for resisting pressure from outside Parliament, it is clear than both money and fear already feature strongly in political decisions.”

The fact that there had been so much resistance to a secret ballot was an indication that there was also fear on the side of the government that its own members would rebel against the party line.

The judgement also called on the speaker to ensure that her decision strengthens rather than weakens democracy.

Ms Myburgh said the President was elected in Parliament by a secret ballot and this surely set a precedent for secret ballot on the President’s exit from leadership.

Issued by Dean Le Grange, Media and Digital Co-ordinator, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 22 June 2017