Cape Town – The Economic Freedom Fighters announced on Tuesday that they would throw their weight behind the Constitutional Court application by the United Democratic Movement for voting by secret ballot in the upcoming debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
The EFF said the decision was prompted by the president filing papers to oppose the court application. Zuma did so last week.
"When he [Zuma] launched opposing papers of a motion that will be about him he declared war against the very freedom we believe the secret ballot seeks to protect. How lowly must a leader in a democratic society be that like Zuma, he wants to hold on to power at all costs," EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
"Zuma, who represents a different organ of the state, the executive, should have allowed Parliament to resolve its internal processes with the guidance of the courts about how to handle a motion of no confidence in him as a president."
The Inkatha Freedom Party has also joined in the application.
The motion was brought by the Democratic Alliance following the Cabinet reshuffle in which Zuma removed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. It was set down for debate on Tuesday but this was postponed to allow the court case to unfold.
In his answering papers, Zuma argued that an open ballot was not unconstitutional.
The UDM has argued that since the president was elected by the National Assembly by secret ballot, the same must apply to a vote that could result in his removal.
African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu has signalled that the ruling party caucus would respect an order from the National Working Committee to vote in support of Zuma.
African News Agency