First on EWN: Mathews Phosa insists Nkandla debacle is scandalous

Phosa has reiterated President Zuma should have taken both political & moral responsibility, by resigning.

Former ANC National Executive Committee member Mathews Phosa chats to Journalist Melanie Verwoerd during a sit-down interview. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Former African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer-General Mathews Phosa insists the Nkandla debacle is scandalous, no matter how one looks at it.

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

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

He spoke to Eyewitness News as part of a special series of one-on-ones with high profile South Africans.

"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 in the outcome.

In his view, a leader doesn't want to be found guilty in court before taking responsibility or doing what is morally right.

He said he will never accept Zuma's decision or apology, despite the decision by most ANC branches to forgive him.

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


Phosa has warned ongoing attacks on the Treasury, as he puts it, are motivated by greed and may spell disaster for the country.

"By continuing to attack Treasury and the minister of finance, we are committing suicide. We will die and the economy will collapse. We need to stop and protect what is working."

In March, the rand fell when the Hawks said it would launch an investigation into Gordhan's role in setting up a tax surveillance unit in 2007 when he was the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Gordhan has said the spy unit set up at the tax agency was lawful.

However, last month, the Hawks said there was no investigation into the minister.

Phosa has warned that so -called 'state capture' and the wealthy Gupta family's involvement with senior government officials does not bode well for South Africa's bottom line, adding that the ANC's founding principles are being eroded.

"There is a lot or corruption and it's become systemic in government. Instead of hitting the heart of corruption, to protect one another, we introduce a culture of immunity. It's wrong for the ANC to do that."

He's also lambasted Zuma for allowing his children to "line their pockets with the help of others and to live off the state's coffers."

WATCH: Mathews Phosa talks on what got him into politics and his early days at the ANC.