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

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

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.

The Chief Justice has 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 that both money and fear already feature strongly in political decisions.

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

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

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.

Janine Myburgh
President of the Cape Chamber