A vote of no confidence on South African President Jacob Zuma will be held by secret ballot, the parliament speaker announced, in a move that could encourage some ruling party parliament members to vote to oust him.
"Having considered all the factors and mindful of the fact that this decision is not setting a precedent, I determine that voting on the motion of no confidence in the president will be by secret ballot", she said.
A group of ANC veterans from the anti-apartheid struggle also called for lawmakers to vote against Zuma, who was himself imprisoned with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island under white-minority rule.
In June‚ the Constitutional Court ruled that there was scope in the Parliamentary rules for a secret ballot‚ and ordered Mbete to make the decision.
Given the ruling Zuptoid cadre's penchant for intimidation, bribery and corruption, Parliament's Speaker, Baleke Mbete, will be hard put to deny a secret No Confidence vote on Tuesday. Business Leadership South Africa, (BLSA), has nailed it's colours to the SA mast, advising members to give their staff time off on Tuesday to join the mass protest without losing pay or any benefits.
The prospect of a secret ballot raises the chances of the departure of Zuma, which traders see as a net positive for the rand.
Lekota said the speaker should agree to a process by which MPs cast their votes on blank pieces of paper or ballots that are not traceable through numbers, to offer security to dissenting ANC MPs. "We therefore have to use this opportunity to show responsiveness to our people".
"Voting in favor of this motion will be tantamount to throwing a nuclear bomb at our country", an August 4 statement from the office of ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said. Even if it were‚ they said‚ Zuma was unlikely to be removed.
"There have been disingenuous and deliberate attempts by the opposition to the ANC (both inside and outside of parliament) to confuse the secret vote that citizens are entitled to during elections with the vote of elected representatives", he said. "The people of South Africa also look to parliament for signals of hope", said Mbete, a longtime Zuma ally.
The motion, which was introduced by the opposition Democratic Alliance, needs 201 out of 400 votes to succeed.