Speaking notes for UDM President Bantu Holomisa, MP

The motion of no confidence debate and the secret ballot

on 4 August 2017 at the Cape Town Press Club, Grill Room, Kelvin Grove,

Cape Town, at 13:00

  • Programme Director
  • Ladies and gentlemen


South Africans have long agreed that Mr Zuma is no longer a legitimate President of the Country. The damning Constitutional Court judgment which found that he failed to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution, sealed his fate.

The rest of the daily revelations, on the ills of his presidency, are a vindication of the point that he has completely lost the plot.

This is a man who will, in the next four days, face the eighth motion of no confidence in him. This means that on average Mr Zuma has faced at least one motion of no confidence for every year of his presidency.

I make this point to simply illustrate that there is overwhelming consensus that Mr Zuma should urgently vacate this honourable office, because he is no longer honourable.

The Constitutional Court expressed itself again when it confirmed, on the 22nd of June, that the Speaker has the discretionary power to determine the voting method for a no-confidence motion.

It also counselled her on how to discharge that power, in the interest of the Constitution and the citizens of South African, and confirmed public representatives’ obligations to our constitutional democracy.

The Secret Ballot

The call for a secret ballot is no longer a United Democratic Movement matter, but one for each and every South African.

The Conference for the Future of South Africa (held on 18 July), which was attended by no less than 130 civil society organisations, confirmed the need for Mr Zuma’s immediate departure, as well as that of a secret ballot.

Every day the ruling party – through its Secretary General (SG), its Chief Whip or any other member – vindicates the citizens’ call for a secret ballot.

We all know that the Speaker is heavily conflicted and is unlikely to take her cue from the Constitution or listen to the guidance of the Constitutional Court. As always, her decision will be a Luthuli House decision.

The fact that she is delaying her decision speaks volumes.


  1. If the Speaker grants a secret ballot, the debate will follow and the vote will take place as planned.

We can only hope that all 400 members of the National Assembly (NA) will listen to the Constitutional Court’s guidance and put South Africa first by voting in favour of the motion.

If the motion succeeds, the Constitution provides for the resignation of the President, the Deputy President and all members of the Executive. The Speaker would then act as President and, within 30 days, an election of the new President must take place. The UDM will respect the electorate’s 2014-choice of voting the African National Congress (ANC) into power. The removal of Mr Zuma is not about regime change but about a clean and responsive governance.

  1. If the Speaker does not grant the secret ballot, there are two possibilities:
  • Firstly, and depending on her grounds for refusal, the Speaker’s decision may be referred for judicial review. In this case, the parties that moved the motion may have to withdraw pending such a review. This applies whether the Speaker announces her decision on the eve, or on the day, of the debate.
  • Secondly, the debate may continue as planned and an open vote takes place.

In this case, our interest (and those of South Africans) will be focussed on the ANC-benches. We would want to see whether the ANC members are:

  • loyal to their personal financial interests,
  • their ANC factional interests or
  • the interests of the Country and its citizens.

It is equally important to see who, amongst the 400 NA members, are loyal to the Constitution and the Country, as opposed to those who want to defend the indefensible.

We know, that the “other faction” of the ANC would wish to kick the ball into touch and prevent this debate from taking place in 2017. They intend to wait until Mr Zuma is no longer ANC President so that they can ask him to step down or move the same motion from their own quarters.

The ANC SG is on record saying that it is not easy to remove a sitting ANC president from the Union Buildings.

On August the 8th

We call on all UDM members and citizens in general to join the national wide protests and those who can, march to parliament on the day.

Beyond the 8th of August

Irrespective of the outcome of the debate and the vote on Tuesday, South Africa will still need to function. The UDM will continue betting on a wicket of anti-corruption and clean governance.

In this regard, we will prevail on whoever is the head of government to:

  • Ensure that the revelations found in the popular “Gupta emails”, are acted upon, by, amongst others, ensuring that the relevant state institutions are doing their work. Police must investigate and arrest, the Prosecution Authority must prosecute and secure convictions.
  • Suspend all Ministers and state officials who are alleged to have done wrong, pending the investigations.
  • Ensure that all contracts suspected of been wrongly awarded, must be suspended.
  • Provide support and security for all public servants and members of the public who are exposing corruption and wrong doing in state institutions.
  • Provide full support to all Chapter Nine Institutions and clean the State Owned Enterprises of corrupt individuals.
  • Rid the Country of lawlessness that seem to be the order of the day under Mr Zuma’s presidency.

We will also support the criminal cases opened by citizens and organisations against all the people who are alleged to be guilty of corruption and fraudulent activities.

We will continue to mobilise society against all forms of corruption, and in support of clean governance, and the respect of law and the Constitution. The struggle against state capture is not over and it will need all of us to work collectively and tirelessly against it.