Mantashe: Members who called on Zuma to step down won't be purged

Gwede Mantashe has also addressed criticism against ministers who called on the president to leave office but failed to vote.

ANC Secretary General addresses his Deputy Jessie Duarte at Luthuli house during a Press briefing concerning the resignation of President Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the party will not allow cabinet ministers who spoke in favour of a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be victimised saying they were well within their rights to raise the issue at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

On Tuesday, the ruling party revealed that the call for Zuma to leave office didn't receive sufficient support and was rejected by the party's executive committee.

The motion was tabled by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom who was supported by other NEC members, some of whom are also cabinet ministers.

Mantashe says NEC members who are also cabinet ministers who called on the president to step down will not be purged.

“It cannot work that way, it will not be allowed to happen by the NEC.”

He also addressed criticisms from other sections of society on the ministers who called on the president to leave office but failed to vote in favour of the motion of no confidence against him in Parliament.

“We must never allow that, we must deal with our issues, difficult at times, but never surrender our forces to the generals of the enemy.”

He says the call for the president to step down wasn't limited to ministers only but was discussed by almost all the party’s NEC members.

WATCH: ANC NEC's position on Zuma unwavering.

(Neo Koza)