DA leader Mmusi Maimane. CREDIT: Nhlanhla Phillips/Independent Media

It is up to the Democratic Alliance (DA), which tabled a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma, to withdraw the motion after other opposition parties asked that it be postponed in the light of a pending Constitutional Court hearing on the secret vote, Parliament said on Wednesday.

“Rule 128 of the National Assembly rules stipulates that withdrawals of motions may only be made by the Member of Parliament in whose name they were tabled,” Parliament spokesman Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.

“The Motion of No Confidence, which the Speaker scheduled for 18 April in the National Assembly, in line with the urgent request, is tabled under the name of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Mmusi Maimane.

“Therefore, in terms of the provision in the Rules, only Mr Maimane – and not the Speaker – has the power to withdraw the Motion.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) have written to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete requesting her to postpone the debate until the court’s decision.

The UDM approached the highest Court in the land to convince it that next week’s vote of no confidence debate should be a secret vote by MPs.

The African National Congress (ANC) has in turn indicated none of its MPs would veer away from the party line and “vote with a conscious together with opposition parties”.

Opposition parties support the DA tabling of motion of no confidence against Zuma, in another attempt to unseat the President. Various attempts by the DA to push through the motion against Zuma failed as the ANC used its majority in the National Assembly to block such a move.