'Party leaders who insult Zuma on public platforms will pay the price'
Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says Gauteng ANC members must rather speak to the ANC in private.
JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says party leaders in Gauteng who insult President Jacob Zuma on public platforms will pay the price.
Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, struggle stalwarts Mavuso Msimang and Ahmed Kathrada are some of the high profile South Africans who have called on Zuma to step down.
This week deputy Gauteng ANC chairperson and Premier David Makhura also told a memorial service that the country is more important than loyalty to the organisation.
Mantashe says members must rather speak to the ANC in private.
"Whether it is Makhura or it is the veterans or a branch in the inner city, if they talk about the party in public negatively, the public will remember that. ANC members, we must debate these issues and engage society but if they choose to take public platforms and look good by insulting the president, they'll pay the price obviously."
Mantashe has given Gauteng ANC members a stern warning and says their action will give opposition parties some room to strengthen their grip.
"We're going to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality next week to campaign hard because they're not hurting themselves. We have a chance to actually retain the Nelson Mandela Municipality. In Gauteng, actions there are actually handing over Gauteng to the opposition by ANC members themselves."
WATCH: ANC welcomes Zuma's apology...
The 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 Zuma after the Constitutional Court found he failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution.
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 even preparing speakers notes for all our leaders so that we speak from the same page."
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.