While addressing an enlarge gathering of the parliamentary press corps on Tuesday afternoon‚ DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said his party believed Mantashe was in violation of the Power and Privileges of Parliament Act‚ which makes it an offence to intimidate or otherwise unlawfully influence MPs.

The DA is considering filing a criminal case against ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe for intimidating ANC MPs into voting against the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Mantashe on Monday said ANC MPs who were not prepared to toe the party line on the motion of no confidence vote next week were free to walk.

Steenhuisen also announced the DA to be in favour of a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence.

“Normally‚ we oppose secret ballots‚ but in this case the threats to‚ most notably‚ ANC MP Makhosi Khoza‚ and the attacks on ANC MP Mondli Gungubele have moved us to support a secret ballot because specific circumstances require it‚” said Steenhuisen.

He added that all DA MPs will be expected to toe the party line and support the motion.

The DA believes National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete will postpone the announcement of her decision on whether there will be a secret ballot to the last possible moment‚ in order to limit the possibility of court challenges‚ and increase the possibility of the parliamentary sitting descending into chaos and Zuma escaping accountability.