DA requests Speaker to recuse Ministers from their own MONC vote, and to use a roll-call system

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
28 Mar 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite from the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen MP. 

On Saturday 26 March I wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly on two issues pertaining to the voting procedure in the Motion of No Confidence in the Cabinet, which is to be considered in the National Assembly on Wednesday 30 March.

It is the view of the DA that both these issues need to be urgently addressed prior to Wednesday’s debate and vote. A Motion of No Confidence in the entire Cabinet, tabled in terms of Section 102(1) of the Constitution, is not an action taken lightly, and it is therefore critical that the voting procedure produce a fair and accurate outcome.

The first issue relates to the conflict of interest that arises should the Cabinet Ministers be allowed to vote in their own Motion of No Confidence. They clearly have a direct and substantial stake in the outcome of the vote in terms of their positions on the Executive along with all the material benefits of the job. Allowing their participation would not be in the spirit of Section 102(1) of the Constitution. This would also violate the principle of separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature.

I have therefore requested that the Speaker instruct that Cabinet Ministers be recused from voting in their own Motion of No Confidence.

The second issue relates to the voting process itself. Given the consequential nature of this vote, the requirement that Members simply need to be logged on to a virtual platform so that a party whip can count their vote is insufficient as it doesn’t guarantee that these Members are in fact present and voting when the votes are cast.

I have requested that the Speaker use a manual roll-call procedure for this vote. This procedure requires each member to answer the Secretary with a “Yes” or “No” when individually called upon, which ensures that each Member present in the House votes when the question is put. The tellers must then sign the roll-call lists and hand them to the Presiding Officer who, after confirming the accuracy of the recorded and tallied votes, immediately declares the result. Should the accuracy of this declaration be challenged, the Presiding Officer may again put the question and hold another roll-call.

This roll-call system is widely used across the world, including in provincial legislatures such as the Gauteng Legislature, on consequential matters.

We have asked the Speaker to rule on and confirm both these issues by no later than 17:00 on Monday 28 March.

If President Ramaphosa won’t fire any of his crooks and freeloaders in Cabinet, we will take that burden off his hands and do it for him. Co-sign our motion for Parliament to remove Cabinet: https://www.cabinetmustgo.co.za/