The National Assembly (NA) Speaker, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, welcomes the Western Cape High Court’s ruling today, striking off the roll the African Transformation Movement’s case for the lack of urgency.
Today’s ruling follows the ATM’s request for a closed vote on the motion, which the Speaker had previously declined on two occasions, after considering the guidance contained in the 2017 Constitutional Court Judgment, in the case between the United Democratic Movement vs Speaker of the National Assembly and others.
In its letter dated 11 February 2022, the ATM had requested the Speaker to reconsider its request following the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in December 2021. The SCA, in December 2021, set aside the Western Cape High Court judgement that upheld the Speaker’s decision not to grant secret ballot to the ATM. The SCA found that the Speaker erred in placing an onus on the ATM to prove that the prevailing circumstances justified that a secret ballot procedure was warranted.
After carefully considering anew the issues raised in the ATM’s letters, dated 7 December 2021 and 11 February 2022, the Speaker declined the ATM’s request on 16 February. The ATM replied to the Speaker’s decision on 25 February 2022, asking her to ‘review’ her own decision. The Speaker duly responded on 9 March 2022, affirming her decision of 16 February. The ATM, on 14 March, took the Speaker’s decision to court for review.
This debate is scheduled for 30 March 2022 at 2 pm in the NA.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.