Malema: Let ANC MPs Vote In Secret

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa

The UDM's attorney Eric Mabuza says the party argument revolves around the fact that votes are also cast in secret during general elections.

The EFF and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) reportedly filed papers in support of the United Democratic Movement (UDM)'s application to the Constitutional Court this week.

The UDM's application serves as both form of appeal and clarification noted Constitutional law expert Loamni Wolf, in a column for the Daily Maverick.

While numerous reports have surfaced that indicate ANC MPs will face harsh punishment for not toeing the party-line, this is purely posturing according to Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett writing for the Sunday Times.

Zuma's action had led to the downgrade of the country by ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's, said the UDM leader in his papers.

"No party in the present litigation‚ and certainly not the applicant‚ intends to dispute the first part of that dictum regarding the National Assembly's control of its own procedures‚ which is inherently a matter of separation of powers".

Citing the case of Masethla v The President, Wolf said that while the Constitutional Court has previously provided guidance on how to deal with the termination of a public office, the dismissal procedure is either not regulated at all or not regulated in detail. "Our courts have never shied away from deciding legal matters on the grounds of "political" implications and would surely not start doing so now".

The UDM says Zuma's submission that his decision to reshuffle his Cabinet was lawful is not at issue. "What is relevant is that the decisions were ill-judged, hasty and have had extraordinarily negative (and foreseeable) economic consequences".

The power of removal of the president also resides with the National Assembly in terms of the constitution, but it does not make express statements about secret balloting.

In the letters sent to Mbete by the opposition parties, requesting a motion of no confidence, they had outlined detailed reasons for having a debate on the matter.