Baleka Mbete declares secret ballot: the Twitter before and after

baleka mbete secret ballot government za flickr

South Africa’s Speaker of the House Baleka Mbete has announced that tomorrow’s vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be held under a secret ballot.

This comes after an announcement made in Parliament’s Goodhope Chambers on Monday.

While the news is welcoming for opposition parties and a test of strength for South Africa’s Constitution, it’s Twitter that saw the most remarkable change Monday.

Prior to the announcement, tweets were marred by a foreboding and defeatist tone, with many predicting that Baleka Mbete would declare an open ballot.

“She won’t! She will not do it!” one user exclaims.

But about 25 minutes later after the press conference concluded, Twitter’s subdued mood rapidly changed.

The UDM’s Bantu Holomisa and EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, lead with stern political commentary.

Other social media users joined in.

“Today I love #BalekaMbete!” wrote one user.

#Mbete began trending shortly after the announcement, with #MotionOfNoConfidence featuring prominently in Cape Town and Durban.

The Motion of No Confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma will take place in Parliament tomorrow.

Feature image: GovernmentZA via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0, cropped)

Andy Walker, former editor


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