African National Congress MPs have no excuse and should vote to fire President Jacob Zuma in the motion of no confidence, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday, welcoming the announcement by Speaker Baleka Mbete that she will allow a secret ballot for Tuesday’s vote.

“The DA welcomes today’s decision by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to allow tomorrow’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be conducted via secret ballot. ANC MPs now have no excuse. They must use their vote tomorrow to stand up to grand corruption and vote to remove Jacob Zuma as President,” Maimane said.

“While the removal of Jacob Zuma will not solve every problem in our nation, it would be the beginning of a national rebuilding project that is urgently required. The DA’s vote will be no secret – we will vote to fire Jacob Zuma tomorrow.”

In making her announcement, Mbete said she had carefully weighed many different factors and interests, and in particular the considerations stressed by the Constitutional Court when it delivered judgment on the application by opposition parties who tried to force a secret ballot.

She noted that MPs owed a heavy debt to the public who elected them, and were under no legal obligation to maintain allegiance to the party they represented. And she added that the court had reminded all that a vote of no confidence was a potent tool to hold the president to account.

“I therefore determine that voting on the motion of no confidence in the President on August 8 will be by secret ballot,” Mbete told a media briefing.

She declined to answer any questions.