In what could be a political earthquake, which could bury President Jacob Zuma’s turbulence and controversial political career, the highest court in South Africa has ruled on Thursday that lawmakers can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma. The ruling is a devastating blow to President Zuma, who is facing several corruption allegations and incredible pressure within his African National Congress (ANC) ruling party to resign
Delivering his verdict in a case brought to the court by the country’s opposition parties, the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, maintained that the National Assembly speaker had the jurisdiction to choose a secret ballot in the Zuma’s no-confidence vote.
“The speaker of the National Assembly has the constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no-confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa be conducted by secret ballot. Whether the proceedings are to be by secret ballot is a power that rests firmly in the hands of the speaker, but exercisable subject to crucial factors that are appropriately seasoned with consideration of rationality.” The chief justice insisted.
The Speaker of the House Baleka Mbete had in April refused to honour the request of the opposition parties, which insisted that a secret ballot is used during the no – confidence vote and called on the ANC lawmakers to “vote with their conscience.” No date has been set for the crucial voting, which could determine President Zuma’s political future.
President Jacob Zuma is a cat with many lives, who has survived many scandals, corruption, and abuse of power allegations and no-confidence votes. Although President Zuma’s ruling party ANC holds a large majority in parliament, however, with Zuma’s recent infamous and controversial sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan, coupled with unemployment and skyrocketing disenchantment against the president’s alleged corruption and abuse of power, the recent ruling by the highest court in South Africa will definitely make the upcoming no-confidence vote extraordinary interesting.
Now that the ranks within the ANC are, in fact, showing openly increasing frustration and dissatisfaction with President Zuma, is President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma’s political journey heading towards inevitable catastrophic oblivion?