Rand Surges After South Africa's Parliament Speaker Allows Secret Ballot In Zuma No-Confidence Vote

In a surprise announcement, moments ago South Africa's parliament speaker announced a secret ballot will be held on Zuma no-confidence motion on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists, the speaker of the national assembly, Baleka Mbete, who is a member of the ruling ANC party and is widely tipped to replace Zuma at some point, said it is her responsibility as speaker to decide whether or not the no confidence vote in President Zuma will be conducted by secret ballot or not. Her decision which was just announced: the vote will indeed be secret.

Some more soundbites via Bloomberg:

  • Motion is “potent tool towards holding president to account”
  • Central to the freedom of a member of parliament is to follow the dictates of personal conscience
  • Members must exercise oversight powers effectively
  • Secret ballot becomes necessary where environment is “toxic or highly charged”

A no-confidence motion is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday and requires the backing of a majority of the 400 lawmakers to pass.

And since it is generally assumed that a secret ballot would increase the chances of President Zuma being ousted, as ruling-party lawmakers who back his ouster won’t risk losing their jobs, the ZAR has surged by as much as 2.0%, trading up 1.5% to 13.2495/USD last while yields on benchmark government bonds due Dec. 2026 drops 7bps to 8.58%, as it now appears that a more "stable" regime may be in the offing.

Here are the details of tomorrow's vote:

  • Starts at around 14:00 local time (13:00 BST/ 08:00 EDT)
  • Full South African Assembly: 400 members (of which the ANC bloc makes up 249 MPs)
  • Votes needed: 50% (or 201 votes) are needed in favour of the no confidence motion.
  • Opposition holds just 151 seats, so assuming all opposition vote for the no confidence motion, then a further 50 of the 249 ANC MPs need to vote for it. That is one in five ANC MPs.

Still, as some have speculated while Mbete, Zuma's likely successor, has every incentive to allow a secret ballot to happen, it is rarely a good idea to be the one seen to be doing the ousting. And, as Citi notes, "she stands more to gain from being loyal to Zuma if she wants to keep her party onside." Thus, the cynical view would perhaps be that the ANC has been whipping votes and believe they have the necessary numbers for Zuma to survive – he would be absolved and allowed to continue as leader, and Mbete, by allowing the secret ballot, would look like a paragon of truth and justice, putting country above party.

And so begin the South Africa conspiracy theories.

Comments

philipat Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:14 Permalink

Time for Zuma to get up up and away to party on in his private Boeing 747-800 and get away from this "reality"? Who gives a isht about reality? They learn this stuff from the US?

General Titus Mon, 08/07/2017 - 11:56 Permalink

Zuma is a POS but, him and his cronies took over the ANC and purged out the Bolsheviks, thats why they are now looking to take him out and are promoting the opposition

gdpetti General Titus Mon, 08/07/2017 - 16:50 Permalink

True, as they are the 'chosen ones'... of Satan/Baphomet/Lucifer etc... Cabbalists in charge... not Qabbalists... BIG DIF!... opposite sides of the Tree.But using "toxic and highly charged" to that statement of why she is using the secret ballot, says it all.... fear factor, as previous years in office has given Zuma control over the militant arm of the party and state.... this is the only option available to them to excise him from their midst... otherwise, the deep state full of foreign interest, Jewish or not, remains in power and control of the country.... same here in the States... the snowflakes don't realize they are being used by the deep state to upset the apple cart of the establishment adn the country... they are mindless puppets, same as the establishment in DC etc.

In reply to by General Titus