Cape Town - The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has asked National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to postpone the debate on the motion of no confidence in President Cyril Ramaphosa that is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
ATM leader Vuyolwethu Zungula said the party asked for postponement because it have launched proceedings in the Western Cape High Court to review and set aside Modise’s decision to refuse a secret ballot vote on the motion.
The parties agreed that the matter be heard on February 3 and 4.
"The ATM wishes to postpone the motion until the finalisation of court proceedings," he said.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed Modise has received a letter from the ATM asking for the postponement.
The ATM sought court relief after Modise declined, for the second time, on Monday a request by the ATM for the voting on the motion to be conducted by a way of a secret ballot.
This was despite the ATM's lawyer, Andile Justice Magigaba, giving her an ultimatum until the end of business day on Monday to accede to the party's request.
Modise ruled last Thursday that a secret ballot "becomes necessary where the prevailing atmosphere is toxified or highly charged".
The party filed its motion in February but Modise approved it last week only, a move that prompted the ATM to ask Parliament to consider the motion through a secret ballot.
In an affidavit, Zungula said the application sought to review Modise's decision.
"I submit that the basis for the decline of the applicant's request or put differently, the basis for the Speaker's decision is both irrational and biased," Zungula said.
He said the political situation was toxified to such an extent that it would be impossible for the MPS to cast their vote according to their individual consciousness as they would be influenced by the party mandate.
Zungula said the vote of no confidence in former president Jacob Zuma in 2017 was done by secret ballot.
"The same decision by the Speaker in 2017, of holding the vote of no confidence with a secret ballot, shall apply even in current circumstances."