"Secret ballot is inherently undemocratic"

Professor Steven Friedman says a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma is inherently undemocratic.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) submitted an application to the ConCourt to allow MPs to vote by secret ballot. Last week President Jacob Zuma and Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete filed a response to this application.

Mbete said she does not have the power to allow a secret ballot, and neither does the Constitution. The President has argued it's highly speculative for the party to suggest that ANC MPs are being intimidated to not vote against him.

Read: A legal debate: Does the Speaker have the power to declare a secret vote

The UDM was given until 4pm on Wednesday to file its reply.

Friedman says the basis of accountability by public representatives to voters is that they should pass their vote in public.

There are some democracies in which people actually set up programmes to monitor how public representatives vote so that citizens can see whether they voting in a way which citizens approve of or not.

Steven Friedman, Academic

If we get to a stage where our public representatives are allowed to vote in secret then they cease to be accountable to us at all.

Steven Friedman, Academic

Click below to listen to the full interview...


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Star Wars' disciple on why you should watch 'The Last Jedi'

Star Wars' disciple on why you should watch 'The Last Jedi'

Film reviewer and Star Wars fanatic JP Sebastian says the Walt Disney Co movie is a cinematic experience unlike no other.

Top rules for renting out property

Top rules for renting out property

SAProperty.com's Sunell Afrika has shared her expert advice for both property owners and tenants.

Legal debate: Does Mbete have the power to hold a secret ballot (or not)

Legal debate: Does Mbete have the power to hold a secret ballot (or not)

Eusebius McKaiser and legal guests break down the legal issues surrounding the upcoming vote of no confidence in President Zuma.

Court could intervene in Parly rules to protect motion of no confidence- analyst

Court could intervene in Parly rules to protect motion of no confidence- analyst

Prof Richard Calland says court could provide clarity on whether MPs should be allowed to vote by secret ballot against president.

Baleka Mbete and President Zuma oppose UDM's secret ballot vote in Parliament

Baleka Mbete and President Zuma oppose UDM's secret ballot vote in Parliament

A legal battle of note will ensue as UDM pushes for secret ballot vote in no confidence motion while facing opposition from Zuma

Parly places Zuma's no confidence vote on ice

Parly places Zuma's no confidence vote on ice

Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete has decided to postpone the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma until further notice.

Popular articles
'This puts pressure on Jacob Zuma to vacate office earlier'

'This puts pressure on Jacob Zuma to vacate office earlier'

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Daniel Silke, Political Economy Analyst at Political Futures Consultancy.

Judge Mlambo: Zuma's application amounts to abuse of judicial process

Judge Mlambo: Zuma's application amounts to abuse of judicial process

EWN Barry Bateman explains the High Court proceeding on President Zuma's application to set aside parts of Madonsela's report.

It's chicken for Joburgers and Durbanites, but what do Capetonians feast on?

It's chicken for Joburgers and Durbanites, but what do Capetonians feast on?

Stephen Grootes spoke to founder and CEO of OrderIn to find out more about South African's eating habits.

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

In 2012 Steinhoff acquired 20% of wealth manager PSG, reportedly infuriating Mouton. Bruce Whitfield interviews him.

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

‘I need you to provide me with an answer' - John from Edenvale, Gauteng