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UPDATE: Secret ballot not in constitution, say judges

The Constitutional Court. (Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA)
The Constitutional Court. (Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA)
Judges question the secret ballot.

Constitutional court judges may have dashed the hopes of many South Africans by questioning the secret ballot.

South African took to the streets of Johannesburg this morning to march for the secret ballot.

Protesters gathered at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown from 8am before making their way to the Constitutional Court.

The march comes before the hearing to decide whether members of parliament will be able to vote in secret for the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Also Read: WATCH: South Africans march to ConCourt for secret ballot

This is the 13th motion of no confidence that has been brought against Zuma since he became president in 2009. The previous 12 attempts to remove Zuma from office have failed, and it looks like this one will not be successful either.

Several ConCourt judges have questioned whether the vote of no confidence should really be done by a secret ballot.

Other sections in the constitution clearly state what the voting method should be. But the section that deals with the vote of no confidence does not specifically say that the vote should be done through a secret ballot.

Advocate Dali Mpofu. (Picture: Tracy Lee Stark)
Advocate Dali Mpofu. (Picture: Tracy Lee Stark)

According to Section 102 (2) of the Constitution, “if the National Assembly, by a vote supported by a majority of its members, passes a motion of no confidence in the President, the President and the other members of the Cabinet and any Deputy Ministers must resign”.

A secret ballot can happen in one of two instances. The first is if citizens want to vote by secret ballot. The second is when the president is appointed.

Citizens are allowed to vote anonymously to protect the vote against intimidation. Ministers should be given the same right, said Advocate Dali Mpofu.

(Featured Image: SAPA)

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Yasmeen Osman