Home South African ATM now wants Wednesday’s motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa postponed

ATM now wants Wednesday’s motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa postponed

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When the matter went to the Western Cape High Court on Monday, it was rejected, paving the way for Parliament to debate and vote on the motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she feels vindicated by the Western Cape High Court’s decision to reject the African Transformation Movement’s (ATM) urgent application over the voting process to be followed during the motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Phill Magakoe

CAPE TOWN – National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she feels vindicated by the Western Cape High Court’s decision to reject the African Transformation Movement’s (ATM) urgent application over the voting process to be followed during the motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

Mapisa-Nqakula turned down the request by ATM leader Vuyo Zungula to consider the use of a secret ballot resulting in the party approaching the court.

When the matter went to the Western Cape High Court on Monday, it was rejected, paving the way for Parliament to debate and vote on the motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the urgency had been self-created by the ATM.

Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said: “During court proceedings the Speaker argued that the ATM was aware of her decision not to accede to its request to hold the vote in the motion of no confidence in the president utilising secret ballot since February 16.

“She contended that the ATM had sufficient time to approach the courts from when that decision was communicated to it. Instead, it elected to ask the Speaker to review her own decision and only approached the court more than three weeks after the decision was communicated to it.

“The Speaker also disagreed with the ATM’s contention that her refusal to ‘review’ her decision amounts to a fresh decision entitled to be reviewed by the court as it affects the earlier decision of February 16,” said Mothapo.

ATM national spokesperson Sibusiso Mncwabe said they have already written to the Speaker’s office requesting that the debate be postponed because the court had ruled that this was not an urgent application, but it should serve in the normal court.

He said they were hoping to get a response from the Speaker’s office by Tuesday.

He said they did not want to pre-empt what would happen.

Reacting to the court’s decision, policy analyst Nkosikhulule Nyembezi said to the extent that this application has been on procedural grounds to secure a secret ballot, it does not take away from the substantive issue that the National Assembly will vote on the motion of no confidence.

“The preceding debate should serve to demonstrate the seriousness of the underlying concerns of the ATM as well as genuine attempts by the ANC to allay such concerns so that South Africans can also be active participants in the process. Whatever the outcome of the vote, South Africans should stand united in holding the government accountable for election promises, and not allow divisive politics to cloud efforts to strengthen our democracy.

“Also, whichever way the ANC MPs vote will be a test on how far the party has achieved unity and submission to Ramaphosa’s leadership. Any significant dissent in the ANC benches – either through absenteeism, abstinence, or a vote in favour of the motion – could signal a bumpy road ahead of its national conference in December in which the same MPs will elect a leadership to fight the 2024 elections.”

He said such dissent could expose Ramaphosa as a “lame duck” during his remaining time in office, and further put in doubt his chances of a second term as the party leader and by implication as the president of the country.

“Any negative public perception about Ramaphosa’s support amongst the MPs will tip the scale against him, as perception matters more than ever in these hard times of fighting corruption, poverty, and chronic unemployment.”

Cape Times

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