"ConCourt hinted strongly that a secret ballot would be the wisest decision"

While the ruling that there was no reason for the Parliamentary Speaker not to hold a secret ballot in itself was not surprising, was there anything that stood out in the judgment from a legal and constitutional perspective?

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos things there was.

I think there was something quite interesting in the sense that we are a system in which the National Assembly, on paper at least is the most powerful of the two branches of government...because they elect the President, they can fire the President.

Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert

But in practice it does not always work that way, he says.

The Parliament does not always hold the Executive as accountable as it should. And the language in this judgment is very strong as to the...constitutionally mandated obligations...of the National Assembly to hold the Executive accountable.

Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert

And the fact that their first obligation is to the Constitution and not their political parties, the court found.

Which is interesting as the Members of Parliament are only in Parliament because they happen to be in the good books of the leaders of their political party.

Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert

But will this finding have any impact on the real world of politics?

De Vos says the judgment may be a useful precedent for the future.

The ConCourt did sort of hedge their bets...saying when the Speaker decides on the secret ballot she needs to take into account the whole picture.

Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert

This hedging allows for secret ballots only to happen when appropriate.

He says the ConCourt today was hinting very strongly that a secret ballot would be the wisest and the best decision to follow in this particular case.

Take a listen:


This article first appeared on 702 : "ConCourt hinted strongly that a secret ballot would be the wisest decision"


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
The pros and cons of net neutrality explained

The pros and cons of net neutrality explained

There are concerns about scrapping network neutrality in the United States. MyBroadband's Jan Vermeulen explains what that means.

UCT chemical engineer grad on how he overcame depression and nabbed his degree

UCT chemical engineer grad on how he overcame depression and nabbed his degree

UCT chemical engineer graduate Matimba Mabonda says students who are feeling overwhelmed by university life should seek support.

Holomisa: ANC mistaken, it did not win secret ballot ruling

Holomisa: ANC mistaken, it did not win secret ballot ruling

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says that Baleka Mbete's arrogance and blind loyalty to the ANC and Zuma has put them in this mess.

DA could take Mbete's decision on review if she doesn't grant secret ballot

DA could take Mbete's decision on review if she doesn't grant secret ballot

DA Federal Leader, James Selfe says Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's ruling was the right one and the party welcomes it.

Concourt makes it impossible for Mbete not to adopt secret ballot - analyst

Concourt makes it impossible for Mbete not to adopt secret ballot - analyst

Professor Somadoda Fikeni says Speaker will have to provide a superior argument not to approve the voting through secret ballot.

ANC caucus will not vote against President  - ANC Chief Whip #SecretBallot

ANC caucus will not vote against President - ANC Chief Whip #SecretBallot

Jackson Mthembu says voting the President out of power is in the interest of the DA.

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