Speaker declines ATM request for secret ballot during Phala Phala vote

Speaker declines ATM request for secret ballot during Phala Phala vote

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has declined the African Transformation Movement's (ATM) request for a secret ballot during Tuesday's vote on Section 89 independent panel's report. 

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula - GCIS

ATM President Vuyo Zungula wrote to Mapisa-Nqakula last week requesting that she consider allowing MPs to vote through a secret ballot following the debate on the report.

Several opposition parties have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign after the panel found that he may have breached the Constitution during and after the theft of foreign currency from his farm in 2020.

READ: Ramaphosa braces to head off impeachment threat

"In a written response to the ATM President, the speaker stated she believes that a closed voting procedure may facilitate the possibility of corruption," said parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

"The Speaker is empowered to exercise her discretion in determining the voting method to be employed to decide questions before the House where no voting method is prescribed in the rules of the National Assembly.

"In her letter to the ATM President the Speaker said she believes that a closed voting procedure will deprive the citizens of identifying the positions of their representatives across party lines and that this may facilitate the possibility of corruption aimed at influencing members to vote in a manner where they will be shielded from accountability to the people they represent for the exercise of their constitutional duty."

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"Furthermore, the Speaker said the constitutional requirement, as set out in Section 59(1)(b), that the National Assembly must conduct its proceedings in an open manner was also an important consideration in this case.

"This, as an open and transparent procedure followed by the Assembly to exercise the decision on the Section 89 Independent Panel Report, can bring about public trust and confidence in the Assembly and democratic dispensation," Mothapo added. 


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