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Judgment reserved in ATM bid for secret Ramaphosa motion of no confidence ballot

Speaker of National Assembly Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Speaker of National Assembly Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Feb 3, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court has reserved judgment in the case between the ATM party and National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise over a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Lawyers for both parties argued in the High Court on Wednesday that the issue of a secret ballot was a bone of contention in the proceedings.

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Advocate Anton Katz for the African Transformation Movement (ATM) said it was no secret that corruption was rife in the country, and that the issue of a secret ballot was important.

This has been the position advanced by the ATM since it lodged its application in the high court late last year for the voting in the motion of confidence against Ramaphosa to be held by secret ballot.

Modise had disagreed with their request for a secret ballot. Katz said in a toxic environment, the secret ballot was important.

“That purpose is served in a toxic environment by a closed ballot. Even if the lordship can consider that there is no onus, the onus is on the speaker to show why it is an open ballot,” said Katz.

Advocate Kameel Premhid for Modise said the secret ballot was not a default position and that the voting should be held in an open ballot.

“My learned friend sets out the entire case about the onus. On March 5 there is an indication to the ATM right from the onset that the speaker is looking for the evidence,” said Premhid.

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However, Modise was using her discretion in advocating for an open ballot because the ATM did not provide the compelling reasons or evidence she requested regarding the vote being held in a secret ballot.

Political Bureau

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