'ANC has paid heavy price for banishing former members'

Mathews Phosa says the party was too quick to resort to the legal route and has come to regret the move.

Mathews Phosa . Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer General Mathews Phosa concedes the party has paid a heavy price for banishing former members from the ANC.

In a series of interviews with Eyewitness News , Phosa says it was a mistake to allow former members Julius Malema, Mosiuoa Lekota and Bantu Holomisa to leave the party.

He adds the party was too quick to resort to the legal route and has come to regret the move.

"[Julius] Malema is our political love child, the same as Cope, they are the ANC's political love child. The ANC has learnt horrible lessons from these things. It has to be careful in future, not to donate members into the wilderness because they come back."

WATCH: Mathews Phosa: ANC must stop 'protecting corruption'.

Phosa earlier insisted the Nkandla debacle is scandalous, no matter how one looks at it.

The former Mpumalanga premier also lambasted the ruling party for being weak by failing to set an example in dealing with the issue decisively.

He reiterated President Jacob Zuma should have taken both a political and moral responsibility, by resigning.

"Parliament's failure to act responsibly in that situation and do the right things when such pronouncements are made against the ANC, you ask yourself, 'What happened to the ANC? Where is that ANC?'"

Phosa did not mince his words while discussing the party's response to the expensive presidential homestead.

"We are afraid to set an example at the highest level. We should have said to the president, 'We are not a court of law, but you have made fundamental errors. You are the custodian of the Constitution and you have not protected it. Set an example. Walk away. Just go.'"

Phosa is disappointed by the outcome.