South African Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete said on Sunday she will announce a decision on Monday on whether a no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma will be conducted through secret ballot.
Mbete made the remarks as she came under fire from the opposition, which accused her of deliberately delaying the decision until the last minute.
The speaker said she has scheduled a press conference in Parliament on Monday afternoon to announce her decision on the voting procedure to be followed when the motion of no confidence in Zuma is debated on Aug. 8.
Mbete has been empowered by the Constitutional Court to decide how the no-confidence motion will be conducted.
The opposition has been pushing for a secret ballot so as to encourage parliament members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to vote with the opposition to remove Zuma from office.
But the ANC has warned that any of its MPs who support the anti-Zuma no-confidence motion risk being disciplined by the party.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has threatend to take legal action against Mbete should she refuse to allow a secret ballot.
"She has to give rational reasons," EFF leader Julius Malema said. "Failure to do that, and we will take her to court."
According to Peter Attard Montalto, an emerging markets economist at financial holding company Nomura, the no-confidence motion will fail regardless of whether it ends up being a secret vote or not.
The 400-member Parliament is dominated by ANC MPs.
Toppling Zuma requires 50 of the 249 ANC MPs to support the no-confidence motion.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2017)