The Constitutional Court will make its ruling on Thursday on the United Democratic Movement's (UDM's) application to force National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to conduct the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma by secret ballot.
After Zuma’s controversial Cabinet reshuffle at the end of March, that saw Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan axed, among others, the opposition asked Mbete to schedule a vote of no confidence in Zuma.
It was initially set down for April 18. The opposition, however, asked for it to be postponed pending the application to the court for the vote to take place in secret.
Opposition parties hope this would encourage enough African National Congress MPs to vote against Zuma for it to succeed.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa had argued that Zuma’s reshuffle led to two ratings agencies downgrading the country’s debt to junk status. In addition, he said MPs had been threatened with losing their seats and with violence if they voted against him.
Mbete previously said the UDM’s application had no merit and it did not fall within the court's exclusive jurisdiction.
She said if the court found she had the power to order a motion of no confidence via secret ballot, she would act in accordance with its ruling.