ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has warned that ANC members who speak out against president Jacob Zuma will ‘pay the price’.
It follows a number of senior officials within the party who have expressed their disapproval over the president in recent weeks. Many believe that Zuma should ‘do the honourable’ thing and step down.
Opposition parties failed to have Zuma impeached on Tuesday, following a Constitutional Court ruling that he had failed to uphold his constitutional obligations as president.
On Wednesday, former ANC deputy secretary general, Cheryl Carolus, joined former finance minister, Trevor Manuel, and a host of other party members in calling for Zuma to be removed from office.
In an interview with Talk702, Carolus said: “We have gone beyond what we should be tolerating.”
“The ANC has to take responsibility. This happened on our watch,” Carolus said of the scandals to hit the president which include a rape trial.
“What our president has done over many years is wrong. For the sake of the ANC and the country, we have to take a stand against this man’s behaviour.”
On Tuesday, Manuel said: “The violation of the key oath of office of the head of state, which I think is a deep crisis. I think it’s in all of our interests that the president actually steps aside.”
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said this week that the Nkandla saga has damaged the party which will go into the local municipal elections in August in its most vulnerable state since it first came into power.
In a radio interview on Thursday, Mantashe called on ANC members to talk within the party instead of disrespecting the organisation by criticizing it in public. Mentioning Gauteng premier David Makhura in particular, he said those who insult the president on public platforms ‘will pay the price’.
Makhura, who is the deputy Gauteng ANC chairperson, recently said that loyalty to the country is more important than loyalty to the ANC.
“We have got to do everything in our power to ensure that the ANC does not lose touch with what South Africans feel, for if the ANC does that it will cease to be the ANC.”
In March, Mantashe called on ANC members to come forward to provide evidence of an alleged attempt at state capture.
He called on all members who have information to approach the secretary general’s office, adding that he would politically protect anyone who comes forward.