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22 June 2017

Corruption Watch welcomes ConCourt decision confirming speaker’s power to grant a secret ballot

Corruption Watch welcomes today’s Constitutional Court ruling on the United Democratic Movement’s application for a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

The court’s confirmation that the National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete does have the power to authorise a no confidence vote by secret ballot makes it possible for MPs to act with their consciences and to hold elected leaders to account in the interests of the public.

David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, commented: ‘The ball is now firmly in the speaker’s court. The Constitutional Court has not only found that the decision whether to hold a secret ballot or not belongs to her, but it has also emphasised that the decision must be rational and it has clearly spelt out the factors that the speaker should consider when she makes this critical decision. All these factors point in the direction of a secret ballot’.

The organisation calls upon the speaker to demonstrate sound judgment by exercising her power to act in the interests of the people and show her commitment to advancing the Constitution. To this end, Corruption Watch urges the speaker to set a date promptly for the secret ballot vote in a genuine effort to uphold accountability.

Phemelo Khaas   Cell: 0837633472     Email: