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On Tuesday, July 11, #UniteBehind hosted a public debate at Community House in Salt River, on the question: “Should the Vote of No Confidence in President Zuma be open or secret?” Former ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza, UDM president and MP Bantu Holomisa, and political analyst Steven Friedman were the panelists. Community House was packed to capacity with many people unable to get in. Fortunately the debate was screened live on eNCA.

 

Friedman, arguing against the secret ballot, said that regardless of the decision by the speaker, the desired outcome of removing Zuma would not happen. He further argued that it was naïve to say that a secret ballot would protect MPs from intimidation and that it could set a dangerous precedent for future important votes.

 

Holomisa rejected this, arguing that the secret ballot was the only measure to allow people to vote with their conscience. He said that much of our democracy has been captured, and so extrodinary measures were required to save it.

 

Khoza was sympathetic to Friedman’s argument that the secret ballot could become abused in the future. However, the directive from the ANC and the threats she had already herself received left her in favour on the secret ballot.

 

The event was reported on here: http://bit.ly/2n6efrN