South African MPs will vote in secret on a motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, the parliament’s speaker has announced.
Baleka Mbete made the ruling after opposition parties took the case to the Constitutional Court.
They believe that in a secret ballot, MPs from the governing African National Congress (ANC) would be more likely to vote against the president.
Mr Zuma has survived several previous votes of no-confidence.
The ANC has governed South Africa since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, and has a huge majority in parliament.
Ms Mbete’s decision took many by surprise and injects a new element of uncertainty into the proceedings against the president, reports the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Cape Town.
The question now is whether enough ANC MPs are prepared to make a stand against the president, she adds.