Voting on Section 89 report postponed to next week

The Special National Assembly Programme Committee has postponed the vote on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s impeachment to next Tuesday.

MPs were initially scheduled to meet tomorrow to decide if the Section 89 panel report should be adopted.

While tomorrow’s sitting will continue as planned, to discuss other items on the agenda, the vote on the Section 89 panel report will take place next Tuesday, as a standalone item.

This is due to “logistical matters”, according to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and to also allow for all MPs to be physically present, as requested by political parties.

Secret ballot declined

Earlier in the day, Mapisa-Nqakula declined a request by the African Transformation Movemement (ATM) to have voting on the Section 89 report to be conducted by way of a secret ballot.

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula had called for a secret ballot on 1 December.

“We are going to [ask] the Speaker that the consideration must be done by means of a secret ballot next week. That is the only way in which we are going to guarantee that members will indeed vote with their conscience and there is nothing that is going to happen to the members should they decide to defy their party instructions,” said Zungula in a statement.

“A secret ballot is a tool to safeguard the responsibility of the members of the National Assembly to vote according to their conscience when it is necessary to enforce accountability effectively and properly without undermining the need for the to ever toe the party line.”

READ MORE: Secret ballot for Phala Phala impeachment vote turned down

ANC to vote against adopting Section 89 report

Following a special session of the African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee on Monday, the party NEC resolved that its MPs will vote against the adoption of the report of the Section 89 panel, given the fact that it is being taken on review

Ramaphosa has filed papers to the Constitutional Court to have the Section 89 report findings reviewed and set aside.

In his submissions, Ramaphosa argues that the report is “flawed” and that the Section 89 panel “misunderstood” its mandate.

“In summary, I submit that the Panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me. It moreover strayed beyond the four charges and considered matters not properly before it,” Ramaphosa said.

READ MORE: Section 89 report ‘flawed, mandate misunderstood’, Ramaphosa tells ConCourt

Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

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