The motion of no confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa, which was initially scheduled for Thursday afternoon (3 December), will be postponed.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM), which tabled the motion, moved to the Western Cape high court on Thursday morning after National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise rejected their request for a secret ballot in the vote.
However, ATM’s application for a review of Modise’s decision was postponed to 3 and 4 February, 2021.
The parties in the matter therefore agreed to postpone Thursday’s debate pending the application’s outcome, ATM spokesperson Sibusiso Mcnwabe confirmed.
In its application, ATM argued that Modise had acted irrationally and with bias by rejecting their request for a secret ballot.
“The MPs’ faithfulness can best be, in my opinion, achieved when testing their personal conscience rather than when MPs act on the mandate of [their] party,” ATM leader Vuyo Zungula argued in his affidavit.
However, Modise countered that ATM had not demonstrated special circumstances or a “toxic political atmosphere” warranting a secret ballot.
ATM has cited several reasons for its motion, including Ramaphosa’s alleged failure to tackle corruption, sluggish economic growth and gender-based violence, among other reasons.
Little support for motion
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.
Several opposition parties also indicated that they will either abstain or oppose the motion, including the DA, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).
The DA said the motion is “frivolous” because “we believe that ATM is just a mouthpiece for the Zuma/Magashule faction in the ANC and that the motion is not sincere.”
The EFF has not publicly stated its current position. EFF Julius Malema said in February, when ATM first tabled the motion, that they would not support it because they had not been consulted.