The scheduled motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma has been postponed, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced on Thursday.
The postponement follows a request by the Democratic Alliance, which tabled the motion, for the motion to be postponed pending the conclusion of the United Democratic Movement’s Constitutional Court application.
Earlier this week, the UDM approached the ConCourt with a request that a secret ballot be allowed in the motion, saying this would allow ANC MPs to vote without fear of retribution from their party.
The court allowed the UDM access over the matter, giving the party until April 19 to file a reply.
Mbete said in a statement that the motion had been postponed “pending consideration of the matter by the programme committee after the constituency period”.
“The programme committee will be requested to consider two things, namely the implications of the postponement of the motion, especially in light of Rule 90 (rule of anticipation), and a possible date in the future for the consideration of the motion,” Mbete said in a statement.
“This is in keeping with section 57 of the Constitution which provides that the National Assembly has the power to determine and control its internal arrangements, proceedings and procedures.”
The vote had been set for April 18.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen welcomed the postponement, saying the outcome of the ConCourt submission would have a material impact on the outcome of the vote.
“The DA believes that it would have been remarkably disrespectful for the National Assembly to proceed with the debate and vote while the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the Republic, was deliberating on a matter directly linked to the motion.
“The postponement will give ANC Members of Parliament time to reflect on their commitment to South Africa and the people. For as long as Jacob Zuma remains at the Union Buildings, the people, especially the poor and jobless, will continue to suffer,” said Steenhuisen.
Breaking: the Speaker has acceded to the DA request for a postponement of the Motion of no confidence. pic.twitter.com/VRtpKAazQx
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) April 12, 2017