Zuma’s council Ishmail Semenya argued that MPs in the National Assembly could be held accountable without a secret vote.
“If a vote is by open ballot it would render Parliament unable to hold the executive to account? That logic does not follow. It can still hold them accountable through an open ballot…why not?”
However when pushed he couldn’t pinpoint a downside to a secret ballot.
UDM council Dali Mpofu questioned why it was necessary to go to court in the first place.
“Then why are we here? If we have a method by which you can enhance democracy, by which you can authenticate the outcome. By which you can hold the executive more accountable. By which you can put teeth into the section 102 remedies….and that remedy has no downside, then on what basis can anybody ask this court to say: Despite all those benefits to our democracy, we are still not going to do it,” Mpofu said.
Speaking after court proceedings, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Narend Singh said his party has written countless letters to Mbete asking her to schedule a secret vote, without any luck.
“Now we are even more confident than we were in the morning. From 2012, the IFP has been pursuing this matter of a secret ballot, that if you vote someone in by secret ballot you can vote them out the same way. I think the court will rule in our favour.
EFF leader Julius Malema said the secret ballot was “more relevant now than ever before”.
“We came to the same court that pronounced how Parliament has failed to act consistently with the Constitution. Baleka Mbete’s refusal [to schedule secret vote] once more exposes her she does not have interests of this country at heart, she always prioritises her political party,” he said.