President Jacob Zuma: Another political firestorm

The currency jumped as much as 1.4 percent before trading 1.3 percent stronger at 13.7733 per dollar by 3:18 p.m.in Johannesburg.

The rand headed for the biggest gain in nearly four weeks as prospects brightened for ruling-party dissenters to join in a vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

The rand has slumped nearly 10 percent against the dollar since Zuma recalled then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from an global investor road show on March 27 before firing him. The Constitutional Court has made a decision to hear the UDM's urgent application that it order a secret ballot in the vote and the contesting parties must file their affidavits. Court officials were not available to comment.

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Mabine Seabe, spokesperson for the Democratic Alliance, said that party leader Mmusi Maimane would not take part in the event due to prior engagement, but MP Phumzile Van Damme would represent him.

The National Assembly is listed as a respondent in the case. The ANC chief whip's office has rejected calls for a secret ballot for the no-confidence motion.

Zuma said that during last week's marches, posters had shown black people portrayed as monkeys.

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Perhaps realising that removing President Jacob Zuma through a Parliamentary Motion of No Confidence now seems more and more unlikely, opposition parties on Monday announced at a joint press briefing that they will now embark on National Day of Action to the Union Buildings on Wednesday to force the President to resign. Zuma is expected to celebrate his birthday in Johannesburg at around the same time.

In a letter published in the Star newspaper, former president Thabo Mbeki urged lawmakers to act "as the voice of the people, not the voice of the political parties to which they might belong". Zuma, who is in his second five-year term after becoming president in 2009, has become a flashpoint for concerns about government corruption and mismanagement in one of Africa's most powerful economies.

Nomura analyst Peter Attard Montalto said a secret ballot would not guarantee Zuma's removal because "even anti-Zuma MPs have real fear of the internal civil war that would result in the ANC".

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"We have sadly not yet succeeded in building the non-racial society that we envisaged", Zuma said at the Chris Hani Wreath Laying Ceremony and handover of the Chris Hani heritage site in Boksburg, Gauteng Province.

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