ATM threatens legal action if motion of no-confidence is debated openly

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The African Transformation Movement (ATM) is threatening legal action if National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise does not reconsider her decision to have an open ballot debating the motion of no-confidence against President Ramaphosa.

The party have vowed to take the matter to court if the speaker does not allow a secret ballot on the motion of no-confidence vote against President Rampahosa on Thursday, 3 December.

The ATM argued that the reasons for a secret ballot are in abundance. They asked that the Speaker exercise her discretion based on the conditions surrounding the vote.

News24 reported that ATM president Vuyolwethu Zungula listed the following as reasons for a secret ballot. “Without being exhaustive, it is public record that at least two opposition party members of parliament were removed from parliament by their own party because it was found they were beneficiaries of the CR17 campaign funds.”

He further noted, “This alone is reason enough to corroborate a legitimate suspicion that perhaps more members of parliament are beneficiaries of CR17 campaign funds, and thus might find it very difficult to vote against President Ramaphosa after benefiting personally, and maybe risking their lives and livelihoods.

“This issue is very serious in this unfortunate climate of political killings and purging.

“It is also on public record that some within the majority party, for their reasons, are no longer supportive of President Ramaphosa’s reign.”

Zungula added fuel to fire when he stated that it seemed that factional battles were prevalent within the ANC. He said that they were ‘too numerous’ to mention but used the burning of an ANC T-shirt bearing President Ramaphosa’s face at an ANC rally recently as an example.

“In the event the speaker is unable to review her decision by end of business on November 30, the ATM will have no choice but to seek other legal remedies at our disposal,” said Zungula

Citing section 1(d) of the constitution, which sets “openness” as a fundamental principle for SA’s democracy, Modise declined the request for a secret ballot.

“The constitution also instructs the National Assembly to conduct its business in an open manner,” Modise said in a report by TimesLIVE.

She said that the ATM had not presented a strong enough case indicating evidence of a volatile atmosphere or intimidation of members in the motivation of their request.

The motion of no-confidence is scheduled to be debated on Thursday.