Zuma Confidence Vote May Face Delay Over Secret Ballot Case

Opposition parties have said that the vote on April 18 could have a chance of success if it is held by secret ballot, but the ruling ANC party, which has a majority in parliament, has said it will vote against the motion.

President Jacob Zuma's statement that last week's nationwide marches against his presidency showed the prevalence of racism indicated Zuma's obsession with race, the Congress of the People (Cope) said on Tuesday.

Zuma has come under mounting pressure after he reshuffled the cabinet on March 31, sacking or replacing 10 ministers and 10 deputy ministers, notably Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Court officials were not available to comment.

One of the sponsors of the no-confidence motion, the opposition Democratic Alliance, said it will write to parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete to request a delay. A secret ballot, however, would allow for anonymous dissent. S&P Global Ratings cut the country's credit assessment to junk on April 3, citing policy uncertainty, and Fitch ratings followed suit on Friday.

The DA, the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters, the UDM and other smaller parties plan a new protest march dubbed "National Day of Action" in the capital on Wednesday close to Zuma's offices, aimed at drumming up support for the no-confidence vote.

"The racist onslaught has become more direct and is no longer hidden as was the case in the early years of our constitutional democratic order", said Zuma.

"We have sadly not yet succeeded in building the non-racial society that we envisaged", Zuma said at the Chris Hani Wreath Laying Ceremony and handover of the Chris Hani heritage site in Boksburg, Gauteng province, on Monday.

  • Carolyn Briggs