“The Speaker’s decision follows the request by the Democratic Alliance, under whose leader the Motion was tabled, for the motion to be postponed pending the conclusion of the Constitutional Court application by the United Democratic Movement (UDM). The motion was scheduled on an urgent basis as per the request of the DA leader, Mr Mmusi Maimane, for 18 April 2017,” Parliament said in a statement.
“The postponement of the motion will be referred to the National Assembly Programme Committee for its consideration after the constituency period.”
Parliament said that the Programme Committee would be requested to reflect on the implications of the postponement on the programme of the House, especially in light of Rule 90 (rule of anticipation).
“In terms of Rule 90, postponed motions remain on the programming system of the Assembly, thereby blocking any MP from tabling a similar motion until the one tabled is debated and voted on.”
On Tuesday, Parliament said that Mbete was not opposed to a motion of no confidence in Zuma being held by secret ballot, but was rather not Constitutionally empowered to approve such a vote.
In a media statement, Parliament issued a “clarification” on its position regarding an application by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa to the Constitutional Court to have the vote – scheduled for next Tuesday in the National Assembly – held by secret ballot.
“We wish to state that, with regard to whether motions of this nature ought to be conducted by way of a secret vote, the Speaker of the National Assembly holds no position on the matter. Where the Speaker and the UDM disagree is in relation to the powers of the Speaker under the Constitution to make such a determination,” the statement said.
“Section 102 of the Constitution, which outlines the procedure for motions of no confidence, makes no provision for voting to be conducted through a secret ballot. Similarly, the rules of the National Assembly do not provide for secret voting.”
Parliament said for Mbete to have acceded to Holomisa’s request would have been unconstitutional.