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ATM says 'new developments' warrant Mapisa-Nqakula to reconsider vote on panel report to be held by secret ballot

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
ATM president Vuyolwethu Zungula.
ATM president Vuyolwethu Zungula.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

African Transformation Movement (ATM) has asked National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to reconsider the vote on the section 89 independent panel report to be held by secret ballot.

This after Mapisa-Nqakula previously declined ATM's request on Monday.

In a letter dated December 6, ATM leader Vuyo Zungula says the previous request for a secret ballot which was rejected was made in good faith given the information at Mapisa-Nqakula disposal but since then, developments warrant vote be done by secret ballot.

In his letter, Zungula said on Monday, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile communicated that during a special ANC national executive committee meeting, there were different views on the Section 89 panel's Phala Phala report into President Cyril Ramaphosa but added that they had given their members an instruction to tow the party line and reject the motion.

“Noting that the NEC of the ANC is the highest decision-making structure between conferences of the ANC and further noting the ANC subscribes to Democratic Centralism where the decision of the higher structure is binding to all members of the organisation, it is impossible and irrational to the extreme to expect disciplined members of the ANC who differ with the position of the organisation to defy their line of march and vote according to their conscience as envisaged by the speaker,” Zungula wrote.

“The ANC NEC directive means the citizens will only be exposed to the party position instead of individual representatives and thus the stated contention of the speaker is wholly contradicted and defeated,” Zungula continued.

He added that the sovereignty of parliament would be better served if voting was done by secret ballot. 

“The ATM therefore requests the Speaker to review her position in line with the reality and polarisation that has been brought about by the ANC NEC directive and accede to a secret ballot so that the decision becomes rational, constitutional and line with this new development.”

Tuesday's debate on the report into whether Ramaphosa violated the constitution was moved to December 13.

On Monday, Mashatile said: “We’ll vote against it because that report will set other processes in motion like impeachment and we won’t support processes that will lead to the impeachment of the president,” he said.

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