Secret ballot bid assumes ANC MPs are 'spineless' - Mbete

2017-04-13 15:30
Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, speaks at a news briefing in Johannesburg. (Denis Farrell, AP, file)

Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, speaks at a news briefing in Johannesburg. (Denis Farrell, AP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - There are no exceptional circumstances warranting the United Democratic Movement direct access to the Constitutional Court, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete believes.

Furthermore, the UDM had not exhausted other alternatives before approaching the court with an application for a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma, she said in an affidavit filed on Thursday.

The application had no merit and it did not fall within the court's exclusive jurisdiction, she said.

On Wednesday, the court allowed the UDM direct access to argue its case. It gave parties wishing to oppose the UDM's application until 12:00 on Thursday to file papers, and the UDM until 16:00 next Wednesday to file its reply.

"It is calculated to embroil this court in political controversy in a matter that involved a violation of the principle of separation of powers and it is grounded on the assumption that the members of the NA‚ particularly the African National Congress‚ are weak-kneed‚ timid‚ cowardly‚ unprincipled and spineless persons‚ which assumption I am not prepared to make," Mbete said.

Separation of powers

The high court had jurisdiction to determine the case, she said.

Mbete said granting the relief sought by the UDM would constitute an infringement of the principle of the separation of powers.

"It is not the function of the court to introduce the requirement for a secret ballot. It is not for the courts to be concerned with political questions."

The UDM should have referred the matter to Parliament's rules committee. It should have attempted to lobby its members and other political parties to amend the rules.

She denied that Parliament had failed to fulfil its constitutional obligations.

There was no telling in advance how a member of the National Assembly would vote in a motion of no confidence debate.

She said if the court found that she had the power to order a motion of no confidence via secret ballot, she would reconsider the matter and act in accordance with the court's ruling.

She asked for the matter to be dismissed with costs, or to be remitted to her for reconsideration, with each party paying its own costs.

Read more on:    parliament  |  anc  |  udm  |  baleka mbete  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

French Bulldog helps kids with facial differences

Lentil Bean is a french bulldog who was born with a severe cleft nose, lip and palate.

 
 

Paws

Weird things dogs do
Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.