A no-confidence vote on President Jacob Zuma will be by secret ballot, the South African parliamentary speaker has said.
Zuma's critics want the no-confidence vote brought by the main opposition Democratic Alliance party to be anonymous, hoping it will embolden ANC lawmakers to support his removal by shielding them from pressure from other party members.
But even if a few ANC members dare to break the party discipline and vote against Zuma, that would weaken the president politically and reduce his chances of serving until the end of his second term in 2019, analysts say.
"The opposition parties have tabled seven similar spurious no confidence motions and they made absolutely no headway - it will be no different this time round", he said.
South Africa is "witness to larceny on a grand scale, leaving the country not only impoverished, but also increasingly in the hands of criminalised and compromised governance", the veterans said in a statement ahead of the vote.
The ANC has 249 seats in the 400-seat parliament and the opposition controls 151 seats, so it would take 50 ANC lawmakers backing the opposition to vote out Zuma and his cabinet.
If the motion succeeds Zuma - who has survived eight previous motions of no-confidence - and his entire cabinet would have to step down.
The move, announced by Baleka Mbete, could encourage some members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party to oust the president who has been in power since 2009.
"Many of them have said to us, if it's secret he [Zuma] is gone".
The ANC welcomes the opportunity to once again use the occasion of the debate on the motion of no confidence to speak to these successes which are daily lived reality for many of our people. "Ultimately a secret ballot wouldn't have been offered unless Zuma was confident of wining", said Nomura emerging markets economist Peter Attard Montalto. "This motion will be defeated irrespective of whether it is by open or secret ballot".
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes the decision of the Speaker of National Assembly, comrade Baleka Mbete that voting on the motion of no confidence in the President scheduled for tomorrow, 8 August 2017, will be by secret ballot.
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