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ANC admits it has major damage control to do

Chief whip Jackson Mthembu says the ANC has its works cut out following the ConCourt’s findings on Nkandla.

FILE. A YouTube screengrab of ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC)'s Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says the party has a lot of damage control to do in the wake of the Constitutional Court's findings on the Nkandla spending debacle.

The party is facing a groundswell of resistance over its refusal to take action against President Jacob Zuma after the Constitutional Court found he failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution.

WATCH: ANC welcomes Zuma's apology ...

With the date for local government elections now set, the ANC is keen to close the door on the Nkandla scandal.

In an interview with Eyewitness News , Mthembu acknowledged the party had its work cut out for it.

ANC leaders will be engaging with rank and file members across the country to explain the party's position on the president, Nkandla and the Constitutional Court's damning judgment.

"I think at the end we will all walk and march together but at the moment, indeed, we still have got to do a lot of damage on the ground arising out of how this matter was reported."

Mthembu says ANC leaders will be armed with a memorandum to help them.

"We are preparing even speakers notes for all our leaders so that we speak from the same page."

BLIND LOYALTY

Meanwhile, the ANC's caucus says its decision to rally behind the president during this week's bid to unseat him was not because of blind loyalty.

Mthembu has conceded the Nkandla spending debacle could have been handled differently, but claims the Democratic Alliances (DA)'s impeachment motion was unfounded.

In efforts to contain the fallout, the ANC is arguing that if the Constitutional Court felt Zuma's transgression warranted his dismissal, it would have said so.

But constitutional law experts have pointed out that this would amount to an interference with the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary.

Mthembu has also defended the decision to defeat Tuesday's motion by the DA calling for the president to be removed.

"We are still convinced that we voted correctly, we couldn't have voted otherwise. We still have to find a party that will be galvanized by opposition parties to vote its leader out of presidential office."

However, Mthembu says the judgment will guide the actions of both Parliament and the president in future.

He says the 14 ANC MPs absent on Tuesday all had legitimate excuses.

The party is insisting that Zuma's breach of the Constitution does not warrant his dismissal.

But former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils says South Africans must channel their anger over the president and the Nkandla issue into uniting, to put pressure on him to resign.

"We've seen the downslide, we've seen greed and corruption take over. It's there where the rot has set in, at the head."

LISTEN: Maimane confident despite failed Zuma impeachment vote

To read the full statement by the ANC on the judgment, _ click here._

To read the full judgment by the ConCourt on Nkandla, click here.

To view EWN 's feature on key moments from the Nkandla saga, click here.