The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has threatened to take court action if National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise does not allow a secret ballot in Thursday’s motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa.
ATM tabled the motion in February, citing Ramaphosa’s alleged failure to tackle corruption, sluggish economic growth and gender-based violence among other reasons.
Last week, Modise said ATM had to provide concrete evidence that MPs would deviate from their constitutional mandate during an open ballot.
She also cited section 1(d) of the constitution, which promotes “openness” as a fundamental principle of South Africa’s democracy.
However, in a letter to Modise on Monday, ATM leader Vuyo Zungula cited several reasons why the vote should be held in a secret ballot, including the fact that two EFF MPs were removed by their party for receiving CR17 campaign funds.
“This alone is reason enough to corroborate a legitimate suspicion that perhaps more members of Parliament are beneficiaries of CR17 campaign funds, and thus might find it very difficult to vote against President Ramaphosa after benefiting personally, and maybe risking their lives and livelihoods,” he argued.
ANC factional divisions
Zungula also claimed some ANC members no longer support Ramaphosa as indicated by the burning of an ANC T-shirt bearing the President’s face.
He argued that some ANC MPs could face “dire consequences” ahead of the ANC’s National General Council (NGC) in 2021 if they vote against Ramaphosa in an open ballot.
Zungula wrote, “There is no rationale in holding an open election process when the environment is awash with the level of toxicity that is out there for everyone to see.
“In the event the speaker is unable to review her decision by end of business on November 30, the ATM will have no choice but to seek other legal remedies at our disposal.”
ANC leaders, including Treasurer Paul Mashatile and Secretary-General Ace Magashule, told City Press over the weekend that ANC MPs will put aside their internal differences to defeat ATM’s motion.
The DA has also indicated that it will not support the “frivolous” motion “because we believe that ATM is just a mouthpiece for the Zuma/Magashule faction in the ANC and that the motion is not sincere.”