Several ANC members of parliament who publicly stated that they would vote with the opposition for Zuma's removal received death threats, while others had said that they would vote with their conscience on the day. It was the most serious effort yet to unseat Jacob Zuma.
Zuma's nine lives pay off Zuma is celebrating after narrowly surviving his eighth no-confidence vote.
ANC parliamentary spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli said there would be nothing unusual about this morning's caucus meeting, which is expected to last for just over two hours.
It was the first such vote on Zuma to be held by secret ballot, and dozens of members of his ruling African National Congress party revolted and supported the motion.
At that time Zuma is constitutionally obliged to stand down as South Africa's president.
Mthembu said they can not allow the ANC to be disrupted "because of a few people who believe they have reached the promised land".
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa, whose party took the secret ballot matter to the Constitutional Court, appealed to all MPs to use the opportunity to do the right thing.
"Mbete's decision was made knowing that Zuma will be secure", said Darias Jonker, of the New York-based Eurasia political analysis consultancy.
Demonstrators - for and against Zuma - had gathered outside the Cape Town parliament.
MPs celebrate an unsuccessful vote of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma on August 8, 2017 in the National Assembly in Cape Town. He has been under fire for numerous allegations of corruption. He said this vote was not about political parties, but about the people of South Africa.
Maimane told the National Assembly he knew that former president Nelson Mandela would have had the courage to vote with the opposition to remove Zuma from power.
Toppling Zuma requires 50 of the 249 ANC MPs to support the no-confidence motion.
The opposition parties especially the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had held that ANC members would vote against the president once the vote was anonymously carried out. If Parliament had recalled him Tuesday, ending a presidency scheduled to run until 2019, he still would have remained ANC head until December.
A handful of MPs, including Gordhan, have joined calls from anti-apartheid veterans and trade unions for Zuma to resign, as South Africa endures record unemployment and a recession.