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Analysis: ANC's top brass had no choice but to support Zuma

It could now actually be harder for anyone in the ANC to raise their voice against Jacob Zuma.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The top brass of the African National Congress (ANC) almost has no choice but to publicly back President Jacob Zuma.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said earlier tonight that the party's top six were unanimous in their response to the Constitutional Court's Nkandla judgment.

He said the top six officials met today and deliberated extensively on the ruling, saying the ANC welcomed the well written, truly balanced judgment.

The secretary general said the party continued to stand by Zuma.

Earlier on Friday night Zuma announced that he welcomed the judgment of the Constitutional Court which ruled that the Public Protector's remedial action on the Nkandla matter was binding, adding that he never set out to violate the Constitution.

Mantashe said the ANC was convinced there was no intention by the president and Parliament to violate the Constitution.

Zuma appears to have the numbers to ensure the national executive committee will support him in a crisis.

That means people like Mantashe have to roll with the punches.

At the same time, it is true that calls by opposition parties for the party to recall Zuma could strengthen his position, in that the ANC will not want to be seen to listen to someone like EFF leader Julius Malema.

It's hard to know at this point how this could play into the local government elections.

But perhaps the most important aspect of all of this is that it could now actually be harder for anyone in the ANC to raise their voice against Zuma.

Read the full text of President Zuma's speech here.